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EARTHLY PLEASURES Tending veg with Goldhill Organics

e Exclusoivffer r e read

ctuary The San ooms Beauty R



’ve been setting my alarm early recently. Not to walk the dog or even to make sure I’m one step ahead of the school run pandemonium, but simply to be awake in time to hear the dawn chorus. With the approach of spring, birds are beginning to stake their claim on territory and attract a mate. It sends a shiver down the spine to be standing in the dark as the sky slowly fills with a thousand perfect songs. I recommend it. You can always go back to bed afterwards. This month we giddily welcome our own chorus of new contributors. Architect Andy Foster takes us to Mapperton in the first of his bi-monthly articles, film writer Alexander Ballinger visits our local independent cinemas, expressionist landscape artist Ali Cockrean begins her series on art practice and the one and only Val Stones of The Great British Bake Off joins us with a brand new monthly baking column. We even take a stroll with the Mayor. Katharine and Jo meanwhile, call in on our friends at Goldhill Organics – a small family farm in Child Okeford, growing organic fruit and veg in harmony with our seasons and delivering it to homes across Dorset. A timely opportunity perhaps, in light of recent ‘shortages,’ to reconsider our First World entitlement to broccoli in winter. Thank you all, as ever, for your incredible support. Have a great month. Glen Cheyne, Editor @sherbornetimes

CONTRIBUTORS Alex Ballinger @lexBallinger

Editorial and creative direction Glen Cheyne

David Birley Mayor of Sherborne

Design Andy Gerrard

Richard Bromell ASFAV Charterhouse Auctioneers and Valuers @CharterhouseAV

Sub-editor Julia Chadwick Photography Katharine Davies Feature writer Jo Denbury Print Pureprint Distribution team David Elsmore Christine Knott Sarah Morgan Alfie Neville-Jones Maggie Pelly Claire Pilley Geoff Wood Contact 01935 814803 07957 496193 @sherbornetimes PO Box 9170 Sherborne DT9 9DW Sherborne Times is printed on Edixion Offset, an FSC® and EU Ecolabel certified paper. It goes without saying that once thoroughly well read, this magazine is easily recycled and we actively encourage you to do so. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither Sherborne Times nor its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. Sherborne Times does not officially endorse any advertising material included within this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise - without prior permission from Sherborne Times. Additional photography: contributor’s own, Shutterstock, iStock, Alamy and Dreamstime 4 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

Mike Burks The Gardens Group @TheGardensGroup Ali Cockrean @AliCockrean Gillian M Constable DWT Sherborne Group @DorsetWildlife Jill Cook The London Road Clinic @56londonroad @JillCookPCT David Copp Jenny Dickinson Dear to Me Studio, Fine Stationery @DearToMeStudio Giles Dick-Read Reads Coffee Roasters @reads_coffee Jimmy Flynn Milborne Port Computers @MPortComputers Andrew Fort B.A. (Econ.) CFPcm Chartered MCSI APFS Fort Financial Planning Andy Foster BSC(Hons) BA(Hons) BArch(Hons) CEng MIStructE RIBA Raise Architects @raisearchitects Annie Gent Sherborne Preparatory School @Sherborneprep Mark Greenstock Sherborne Literary Society Dawn Hart & Sarah Hickling The Sherborne Rooms Peter Henshaw & Mike Riley Riley’s Cycles @rileyscycles @DCNSherborne

Sarah Hitch The Sanctuary Beauty Rooms @SanctuaryDorset Nicky King The Eastbury Hotel & The Three Wishes Colin Lambert Roy Leask Sherborne Scribblers Paul Gammage & Anita Light EweMove Sherborne @ewemoveyeovil Sasha Matkevich The Green Restaurant @greensherborne Mark Newton-Clarke MA VetMB PhD MRCVS Newton Clarke Veterinary Partnership @swanhousevet Kitty Oakshott Upstairs Downstairs Interiors @updowninteriors Lindsay Punch Lindsay Punch Styling @stylistmum Dr Tim Robinson MB BS MSc MRCGP DRCOG MFHom Glencairn House Clinic Jane Somper Goldhill Organics @GoldhillOrganic Val Stones @valstones Sarah Tait Sherborne ArtsLink @RealArtsLink Sally Welbourn Dorset Wildlife Trust @DorsetWildlife Dr Amber Whitmarsh BSc(Hons) BVSc CertAVP MRCVS The Kingston Veterinary Group @TheKingstonVets Natasha Williams Oxley Sports Centre @OxleySports Wayne Winstone Winstone’s Books @winstonebooks

50 8

MARCH 2017

What’s On

38 Interiors

82 Property

14 Shopping Guide

42 Antiques

88 Finance

16 Exclusive Reader Offer

46 Gardening

94 Tech

18 Unearthed


96 Folk Tales

20 Wild Dorset

56 Food & Drink

100 Short Story

24 Family

64 Animal Care

101 Literature Review

30 Art

68 Cycle Sherborne

103 Crossword

34 Film

70 On Foot

104 The Mayor

36 Architecture

71 Body & Mind | 5

Experience the redesigned A4 and A5 at Yeovil Audi.

Both the Audi A4 and A5 models feature: • New Audi Parking System Plus. • Audi Smartphone Interface. • Optional quattro all-wheel drive system.

Call us now on 01935 574981 to book your test drive.

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Yeovil Audi Houndstone Business Park, Mead Avenue, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 8RT 01935 574981 ď‚ ď‚‚ Official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the Audi A4 and A5 range: Urban 28.5-62.8 (9.9-4.5), Extra Urban 46.3-83.1 (6.1-3.4), Combined 37.7-74.3 (7.5-3.8). CO2 emissions: 170-99g/km. Standard EU Test figures for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results.

WHAT'S ON Listings ____________________________ Wednesday 1st 2pm and 8pm Telling the Time Through the Ages Digby Hall, Hound Street. Kevin Karney shares his lifelong interest in the history

by ear, experiment with chords and

Mike Denham (piano). Tickets £10

all instruments. £10 in advance/£12 on

Sherborne TIC, Winstone’s Bookshop

arrangements. Suitable for all levels and the door/£25 for 3 consecutive workshops. Julia: 01935 817905 ____________________________

(including refreshments), available from and on the door. Proceeds in aid of the Friends of the Rendezvous.


of timekeeping and cosmology. Looking

Wednesday 8th 7.30pm

Saturday 11th 10am – 2pm

at various methods – and an extraordinary

Sherborne Flicks: Allied

Specialist Charity Plant Fairs

range of devices - he will describe how

these have risen and fallen in popularity

Memorial Hall, Digby Road, Sherborne.

Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne.

as history, fashion and technology have

Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard star in

this WWII drama of a relationship tested

will be a perfect opportunity to buy early

progressed. New members are welcome.

by war. Tickets £6 from Sherborne TIC.



Thursday 9th 8pm

Wednesday 1st, 8th and 15th

Tudor Women in

‘Unlock Their Secrets’

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

with Mark Hewitt

Digby Hall, Hound St, Sherborne. Talk by

Small Hall, Digby Hall, Sherborne. Three week music appreciation course. £50, £40

Dr Roberta Anderson. £5. 01935 812233

With 15 different nurseries stands, this

spring plants and bulbs. Nursery owners will be on hand to offer personal advice and a wide range of exciting plants is

guaranteed. Refreshments available. Free entry, with donations to the local charity School in a Bag.



Saturday 11th 2.30pm

Friends of Artslink

Thursday 9th 2.30pm

Sherborne Evidence for the


Lyme Museum: Past,

History of England in the Reigns

Saturday 4th 2.30pm

Present - and Future?

of Kings Ethelred and Canute

Blackmore Vale and Yeovil

Raleigh Hall, Digby Road, Sherborne.

Catholic Church Hall, Westbury,

Tea and cake provided. 01935 812252

Memorial Lecture is this year given

National Trust Association ‘Montacute House, Filming, Funding and Future’

Talk by David Tucker. £5 (students £2). ____________________________

Digby Hall, Hound St, Sherborne

Friday 10th 7pm for canapes &

‘Volunteering and the National Trust’. Free

Sherborne. The annual Jim Gibb

by Dr. Ken Lawson. £5 (students £2).

Tea and cake provided. 01935 812252

AGM and talk by Mark Crosby on

wine, with the talk at 7.30pm Poyntington Lecture - “The

Saturday 11th 7.30pm

to association members and £5 to guests.

Yeomen of the Guard - The

Love and Fortune: A Noble Legacy


History of the Beefeaters”

Sunday 5th 7.30pm

Gryphon Conference Centre, Sherborne.

St Andrew’s Church, Yetminster, DT9

Leweston Choral Society Concert Leweston School, nr Sherborne, DT9 6EN.

Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’ and Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest’ in concert with orchestra. Tickets

£12 general public or £8 current parents.

Lecture by Yeoman Shaun McCormack.

Tickets are £10, available from Winstone’s Bookshop, Sherborne; Allan Rodger

01963 220759; Jill Oliver 01963 220637.


For tickets ring 01963 210783 or email

Friday 10th 7.30pm


6LG. The Fieri Consort sing a stunning programme of Renaissance madrigals and song that explores the music &

legacy of Italian madrigalist Cipriano de Rore. Tickets are £15 each (inc. interval wine) from the Fieri website or via 07760 464490

Mike Denham and Tom “Spats”


Langham in Concert

Monday 13th 9.30am-3.30pm

Sunday 5th 1.30pm–4.30pm

Cheap Street Church, Sherborne. A

West Country Embroiderers -

with acclaimed musicians Tom “Spats”

Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne

Sherborne Folk Band workshop Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Road, Sherborne. Learn to play folk tunes

8 | Sherborne Times | March 2017


colourful celebration of vintage jazz

Pictorial Machine Embroidery

Langham (guitar, banjo, vocals) and

£15 booked in advance. New members

MARCH 2017 are welcomed. Details: Ann 01963 34696

Programme will finish at about 9pm.

Sherborne Science Café

Saturday 18th 7pm

Saturday 18th 10.30am-1pm

Pubs, Potteries and the

SDFHS Photographic Project

Modern Gliding talk by retired pilot,

Poorhouse: A Hidden

Open Day

History of Holnest

Somerset & Dorset Family History

Thursday 23rd 8pm

Street), Sherborne. We are setting up a

the ‘Red Queen’

named people from Somerset and Dorset

by Dr Mark Nicholls. £5. 01935 812233


Glanvilles Wootton Village Hall. In this illustrated talk in aid of the Friends of

Holnest Church, Luke Mouland explores some forgotten aspects of Holnest’s

history using the church as a focal point for the various phases of development.

Tickets £8 to include a two-course meal. Bring your own drink. To reserve please

contact Luke on 01963 210 635 or email


Raleigh Hall, Digby Rd, Sherborne. Derek Marpole.


Society, The Parade (bottom of Cheap

Lady Margret Beaufort

searchable database of photographs of

Digby Hall, Hound St, Sherborne. Talk

and to make this project a success we


need contributions from members and

Thursday 23rd 7.30pm

bring photographs in. 01935 389611

workshop - “Spring has sprung”


Watch the demonstration then produce

friends. Local members are invited to

Sherborne Floral Group

with Ali Bennett


Saturday 18th 7.30pm

Wednesday 15th 2.30pm

Sherborne Chamber Choir:

an arrangement yourself. Please phone Jo

W.I. Meeting -

A Grand European Tour

“Wild Life Photography”

Sherborne Abbey.

Catholic Church Hall, Westbury,

on 01935 812722 for further details on materials required.


Friday 24th and Saturday 25th


Lawn and Landscape Open Day

by Brian Pettit. New members and

Sunday 19th 11am–4pm

The Lawn and Landscape Centre,

to include refreshments.

Water Wheel Centre

Wednesday 15th 7.30pm

See the largest waterwheel in Dorset!

Sherborne. A presentation with slides visitors always welcome at a cost of £3,

Open Day Steam &


Oborne Road, Sherborne, DT9 3RX.

Dorset Wildlife Trust Sherborne Group

01935 816324


Marston Road, Sherborne. Vist the new home of Sherborne Turf and Queen

Thorne Landscapes. Experts in fertiliser, grass seed and garden machinery will

be on hand to help you kick start spring in your garden. Also serving teas,

Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Road,

Sunday 19th 3pm

coffees and bacon rolls. 01935 850388

about ‘The Poole Harbour Catchment

conducted by Arturo Serna

of DWT most welcome. Tea and coffee

celebration of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,

Exhibition trip to Tate Britain,

Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola.

Coach and entry £60, £55 Friends.

and pupil at Leweston School who will


Sherborne. Nicola Hopkins will speak

Wessex Strings Concert

Initiative’. £2.50 at the door. Non-members

Cheap Street Church, Sherborne. A

Wednesday 29th Day

served in the interval. 01963 23355

featuring his Symphony No 29, and his

London to see David Hockney

Our soloists will be Evie Davies, violinist

____________________________ Thursday 16th 7pm Illustrated Lecture “The Genius of the Place” Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne. By Emily Utgren, National Trust

Arborist at Stourhead Gardens. Tickets

£10 from Sherborne Tourist Information or on the door. Wine will be available

before the show and during the interval.


be playing with her teacher, David Price.

Thursday 30th - Saturday 1st

tea and cake after the concert, with free

Amateur Players of

will be supporting Marie Curie.

Digby Hall, Hound St, Sherborne. The

Wednesday 22nd 7.30pm

their marriage and at the end, blending

Tickets are £10 at the door and include

April 7.30pm

admission for the under 18s. The concert

Sherborne ‘Lovesong’


gentle tale of a couple at the outset of | 9

WHAT'S ON past and present with fleeting memory

expensive mistakes by discovering the best

antiquarian books. 01803 613356

younger selves. Tickets: £8, £5 student,



and with elusive glimpses of their

styles to suit your figure, lifestyle & budget

from Marsh’s 59 Cheap Street, &

Tuesday 28th 7.30pm

Saturday 25th 8.30am-3.30pm

Winstones Bookshop, Cheap Street,

Colour Analysis Class

Vintage Market

Sherborne. 01963 251833

with Lindsay Punch


Venue in Sherborne TBC. Learn how

Memorial Hall, Digby Road, Sherborne.

Workshops and classes ____________________________ The Slipped Stitch

to build a versatile wardrobe with the best clothing & makeup colours to

compliment your natural features whilst giving you a youthful glow.


30+ sellers of quality vintage items. 07809 387594


Sport ____________________________ Every Tuesday and Thursday

The Julian, Cheap St, Sherborne.

Fairs and Markets ____________________________

Mixed Touch Rugby

Thursdays and Saturdays

Sherborne School Floodlit Astroturf,

Saturday 4th 10am-12pm

The Parade

Call 01935 508249 or visit us to book

Improvers spinning club

Pannier Market ____________________________

Saturday 4th 10am-4pm

Thursday mornings 9.15am-11.15am

Bobbin lace workshop

Country Market

Wednesday 8th 7pm-9pm

Church Hall, Digby Road

Intarsia and fair isle knitting



Ottery Lane. DT9 6EE. Novices very welcome. £2 per session, first four

sessions free. For more details go to or call Jimmy on 07887 800803


Wednesday 15th 3pm-5pm

Every third Friday in

Sherborne RFC

Knitting surgery

each month 9am-1pm

1st IV Southern

Saturday 25th 10am-1pm

Farmers’ Market

Counties South Division

Get into smocking

Cheap Street

Gainsborough Park, The Terrace

Tuesday and Thursday 10am-12pm.

4th Saturday monthly (exc.


April & December), 9am-4pm

Saturday 4th 10am-4pm

Saturday Antiques & Flea Market

Saturday 4th 3pm

Woodcarving workshop with

Church Hall, Digby Rd

Sherborne v Walcot (H)



Digby Hall, Hound Street. £65, £55

Saturday 4th 10am-1pm

Friday 10th 7.15pm


Monthly Table Top

Blandford v Sherborne (A)


Sale and SwapShop


Wednesday 15th 10am-4pm

Holwell Village Hall, DT9 5LL. Used

Saturday 25th 3pm

books, CDs, DVDs, bric-a-brac and toys.


from 9am.

Sherborne Town FC


1st IV Toolstation Western

Thursday 23rd 7.30pm

Saturday 18th 9.30am-4pm

League Premier Division

Shape & Style Class


with Lindsay Punch

Memorial Hall, Digby Road, Sherborne,

Raleigh Grove, The Terrace Playing

Plus Knit and Natter runs every

Mark Vyvyan Penney

Fused Glass workshop with Kate Osman Artists Studio, Stalbridge. £85, £75 Friends.


Venue in Sherborne TBC. Avoid making 10 | Sherborne Times | March 2017


items, produce & crafts, clothes, cookware, Sellers: £5 per table (tables provided), set up

DT9 3NL. New, second-hand and

Playing Fields, Sherborne DT9 5NS. ____________________________

Sherborne v Coombe Down (H)

Fields, Sherborne DT9 5NS.

MARCH 2017 _________________________ Saturday 4th Sherborne Town v Cadbury Heath (H) _________________________ Tuesday 14th Bridport v


In association with Please share your recommendations and contacts via or email ____________________________


Sherborne Town (A)

Mondays 2pm-2.30pm

Fridays 9.30-11am


Sherborne Library

Sherborne Prep

Saturday 18th

Free craft session, includes a story, a

(Acreman Street)


with toddlers to come and have some

song and a craft run by a staff member

Welcomes parents (or grandparents!)


Tuesdays 10am-11.45am

Saturday 25th

Digby Memorial

creative fun in our Nursery. £2 per

Hallen v

Church Hall Play Group

Sherborne Town (A)

Play session for babies and toddlers ending

Sherborne Town v Odd Down (H)


with music and singing. £1 per family

includes snack. Group runs term time only,

session includes snacks and craft

materials. Little Preppers runs term

time only, check website for updates:


call 01935 816335 for any queries


DAYS OUT & HOLIDAYS with TAYLORS COACH TRAVEL Day Trips ____________________________


March Drive & Lunch

Bradford on Avon & Canal Ride

Sunday 12th March

Saturday 15th April

Adult £34.50, Club £32.50

Adult £25.50, Club £23.50

Basingstoke Shopper –

Lord of the Dance –

Festival Place

Dangerous Games

Saturday 18th March

Saturday 29th April

Adult £16.00, Club £14.00

Adult £57.00





Otter Nurseries & Exeter Wednesday 29th March

2017 Day Trips & Excursions

Adult £15.00, Club £13.00




our mailing list for our 2017

RHS Flower Show – Cardiff

A Jewel in the Welsh Crown

brochure call the office now!

Friday 7th April

11th – 15th June

Adult £31.50, Club £29.50

5 Days from £445 per person

01935 423177



brochure now available. To join | 11

LAURENCE BELBIN Light, Line & Colour

Georgie Fame – Live In Concert Saturday 18th March, 7:30pm. Tickets £18

Featuring the hits “Yeh, Yeh”, ‘The Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde’, ‘Getaway’ and many more.

Church Farm Fine Art 3rd - 31st March 2017 Grimethorpe Colliery Band

Saturday 1st April, 7:30pm. Tickets £21.50

A special concert to celebrate their centenary year.

Box Office: 01258 475137 Old Market Hill, Sturminster Newton, Dorset DT10 1FH

Madness & Ska Tribute Night Saturday May 17th

£35 per person Price includes Dinner & Disco The fun starts at 7.30pm for 8.00pm Pre-booking essential Why not stay the night? B&B £80.00 per room George Albert Hotel Wardon Hill, Evershot, Nr. Dorchester, Dorset DT2 9PW Tel: 01935 483430 12 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

Church Farm Ryme Intrinseca Sherborne DT9 6JX

28th April~2nd May 2017

DON’T MISS SHERBORNE’S AWARD-WINNING MUSIC FESTIVAL  Tenebrae Nicola Benedetti Iuventus Chamber Orchestra Ruth Rogers Emma Johnson Gypsy Carnivals Band Gabrielle Ducomble Sherborne Festival Chorus Chameleon Arts Orchestra Toby Spence Robert Sharpe Mike Denham John Bryden Emerald O’Hanrahan School choirs & musicians and many more...

70% of all performances are FREE ENTRY! Tickets on general release 1st March

See the full programme and book online at

Book in person at Sherborne Tourist Information Office Digby Road DT9 3NL or call Tel: 01935 815341 

Red Anemones by Vanessa Bowman, £950 ( Jerram Gallery)

Bowl, £15 (Melbury Gallery)

Wallpaper, £61 - £105 per roll (Dodge Interiors)

DESIGN AND CONQUER Jenny Dickinson, Dear To Me Studio From beautiful handmade homewares to stylish furniture and striking art, Sherborne is overflowing with design statements to freshen your interiors this spring 14 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

Dorset Cliffs by Edward Oliver, £85 (Edward Oliver)

Side table, £85, Ercol (Edward Oliver)

Cushion, £42 (Denman & Gould)

Tableware, from £18 (The Circus)

Bottle crate, £5 (Abbey Décor) | 15












uby’s mum is perplexed. “I don’t know where she gets it from. Maybe her grandmother – but certainly not from me!” Ruby’s talent for cooking first presented itself in the classroom. Inspired by a GSCE food technology course, Ruby discovered that not only did she enjoy cooking, but she was very good at it. She was encouraged by her teacher to take part in FutureChef, an annual industry-backed competition for 12-16 year olds. The first round saw her selected from six fellow Gryphon School pupils with a winning dish judged by chefs Bruce Care and Marcus Wilcox. She went on to win the Dorset and Somerset final at Yeovil College in January with a menu consisting of stuffed chicken breast with dauphinoise potatoes, seasonal vegetables and a cheese sauce, followed by a citrus sponge and meringue roulade accompanied by a lemon sauce. With the national final beckoning, Ruby was required to impress once more at the South West regional finals, held in Tiverton last month. The skill and degree of competition on display at this level was intense and, despite her efforts, she returned home as runner-up. Undaunted, Ruby continues to perfect her recipes – and since she has a particular fondness for baking, her three younger siblings are only too happy to judge the results.

KATHARINE DAVIES PHOTOGRAPHY Portrait, lifestyle, PR and editorial commissions 07808 400083

18 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

Bespoke Kitchen & Cabinet Makers

J Smith Woodwork Ltd Staffords Green Corton Denham Sherborne Dorset DT9 4LY 01963 220147 | 07773 701812 |

Wild Dorset



Sally Welbourn, Dorset Wildlife Trust

n the minds of many, the most exciting season change has to be from dark and drab winter to bright and beautiful spring. With the promise of new life, colour and warmth, it gives us a reason to feel a little hopeful at this time of year. Bluebells or hyacinthoides non-scripta are a quintessential sign of spring – a sight that many photographers are keen to capture, with good reason. Bluebells are elusive in that they spend the majority of the year as bulbs underground, with millions often existing in one wood. So that they can attract the attention of pollinating insects, all of these brightly coloured plants flower early in the growing season, before the trees start to block out the sunlight with their fresh new leaves. It also means bluebells can literally enjoy the (lime)light before more vigorous plants start to smother them. Voted the nation’s favourite wild flower, the bluebell is seen in lots of places in Dorset – the Dorset Wildlife Trust has many nature reserves where they are abundant, including Hibbitt Woods and Bracketts Coppice. However, despite being deeply associated with woodland, they can also be seen on hedge banks and sea cliffs, without a tree in sight! Native bluebells thrive in woodland, which is one of our richest and most valuable wildlife habitats. However, ancient woodland now only covers around 2% of the UK and is under threat from development, climate change and competition from non-native species. A big threat to native bluebells is the Spanish bluebell, often popular with gardeners as it is much hardier than our native variety. However, Spanish bluebells are being discovered in the wild and can crossbreed with our native bluebells to form a fertile hybrid, which might eventually out-compete it.

BLUEBELL FACTS • When buying bluebells, check the label for the scientific name. Native bluebells are named hyacinthoides non-scripta whilst the Spanish variety is called hyacinthoides hispanica. • Half of the world’s population of bluebells is in the UK. • Bees can access the nectar from bluebell flowers by biting a hole in the bottom of the bell. As a result, they can reach the nectar without pollinating the flower. • New plants are sometimes able to split off from the bulbs and grow as clones. • The folklore of bluebells has it that bluebells would ring to summon fairies and goblins to their springtime gatherings. Walking through a carpet of bluebells was considered to be bad luck, disturbing an array of spells. 20 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

Bluebells at Bracketts Coppice Š Neil Gibson | 21

Wild Dorset

SHERBORNE DWT Gillian M. Constable, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Sherborne Group Committee


his season, the BBC programmes Winterwatch and earlier Autumnwatch have really put Dorset – particularly the Poole Harbour area – on the map nationally for its range of wildlife. It was sad that the January broadcasts were spoilt to some extent by the fog. The Sherborne DWT group has had several winter field meetings at the DWT Brownsea Island reserve and I recall some years back getting views of the thensolitary spoonbill. Who would have thought the winter population would increase so much? Also at that time the number of avocets was much smaller. The lagoon on the DWT reserve is where the waders tend to retreat at high water in the harbour. Our March meeting, on Wednesday 15th at 7.30pm in Digby Memorial Hall, also covers aspects of Poole Harbour. In 2012 the Poole Harbour Catchment Initiative was initiated and Nicola Hopkins, the Catchment Coordinator of Wessex Water, will be our speaker, describing the initiative and its progress. Poole Harbour is generally very shallow and the estuary of several rivers. There are numerous interest groups all seeking its management

22 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

for their speciality, hence the importance of good management of all rivers and streams flowing into the harbour. At the recent annual general meeting of Dorset Butterfly Conservation we learnt that 2016 was as bad as it seemed regarding butterfly sightings. In the county, sadly 18 species did very badly and only three did well. Red admirals were amongst the latter, while peacocks fared badly. Also over the 64 transect walks where butterflies are counted weekly for the six months from April to September, only on three transects were more specimens counted than in 2015. We can only hope that 2017 will be kinder to their survival. If you have a special interest in butterflies, the Dorset BC website will keep you up to date with sightings and events and you can submit your own records easily. Both DWT and Dorset BC have many opportunities for those who would like to take part in volunteer work. Have a look at their websites to see if there is anything to suit your abilities.


Many of us invest to generate an income. But in a world of lower investment returns, how do you create the right long-term plan that balances your income needs with the risks you are prepared to take? The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and may fall as well as rise.You may get back less than you invested. For more information about investing for income, contact:

PETER HARDING WEALTH MANAGEMENT Principal Partner Practice of St. James’s Place Wealth Management Email: Web: Head Office: 40 High Street, Shaftesbury, Dorset, SP7 8JG Tel: 01747 855554 South West Office: 9 Cheap Street, Sherborne, DT9 3PU Tel: 01935 315315

The Partner Practice represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website The title ‘Partner Practice’ is the marketing term used to describe St. James’s Place representatives. Peter Harding Wealth Management is a trading name of Peter Harding Practice Ltd. H2SJP24978 02/17



Annie Gent, assistant head (pastoral), Sherborne Prep


weethearts,” I ask my five- and three-year-olds as we are driving home from school, “What did you do today at school?” The three-year-old pipes up rather loudly, “I just played all day, Mummy. It was hard work!” (This is in Nursery – I know the teachers certainly work hard there!) The five-year-old, slightly 24 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

more scholarly, child replies, “Mummy, we play every day, but we learn as well as we play. I love learning!” I am lucky – my children adore their school and nursery. They run in every morning and are growing up day by day before my eyes. I am already wondering how I will keep up with these wonderful little creatures, as I watch

them develop through playing. We can underestimate the importance of play in a child’s education. Learning to play is a fundamental skill which children learn early on in their lives, but one that sets them up for learning and socialising throughout their lives. Playing is not as ‘easy’ as it used to be. Life for today’s generation of children involves structured time and entertainment to a much greater degree. Long gone are days of children being seen and not heard and, of course, this is a very good thing. However, lack of any truly free time can impinge on a child’s ability to play wantonly and learn through their own endeavours. By playing alone or with their peers, children learn the social nuances that they will need if they are to navigate successfully through a competitive world. A good communicator will go far and people become adept at this in their early years. You can learn what it means and act out the process of communicating, but to really empathise, to be able to collaborate and interact on a high emotional level, you need to be given the chance to hone this skill when you are young – and the school setting is crucial in nurturing the art of play. Free play also develops creativity and independence as well as problem-solving abilities – all

skills that the entrepreneurs, inventors and researchers of the future will need. Schools teach children facts and figures, but I would suggest that their primary role is to create an environment where children are able to grow emotionally and intellectually – and much of this does come from play. Children who are given a secure environment where they are encouraged to interact with children of various ages, to explore and, yes, take risks and judge situations for themselves, will have the very real capacity to thrive and succeed in life. I loved school, I loved the teachers and some of the fascinating lessons where I learnt incredible things. However, what I remember and hold dearest are the play times when I was with my friends, creating dens, inventing games and feeling free. This, of course, was down to the terrific teachers who provided me with the perfect environment to do this. We didn’t realise it at the time but, looking back, it was the teachers who were scaffolding my emotional learning and encouraging me to think, have fun and learn – all through play.

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For more information or to arrange a visit please contact the Registrar Aurora Mercer 01935 810911/ | 25


Children’s Book Review Wayne Winstone, Winstone’s Books, Independent Bookshop of the Year 2016

The Street Beneath My Feet by Charlotte Guillain, illustrated by Yuval Zommer (QED Publishing) £14.99. Ages 7+ Exclusive Sherborne Times reader price, £11.99


hen you’re walking along the street there’s always so much to see and hear. But do you ever stop and look down? Have you ever wondered what’s going on deep in the ground under your feet? A beautifully illustrated concertina book that takes the reader on a fascinating journey deep underground. One side of the foldout shows the ground beneath the city, whilst the reverse side shows the ground beneath the countryside. The underground scenes include tunnels and pipes, creatures’ burrows, layers of rock and the planet’s molten core, each running seamlessly into the next. Mixing urban and rural settings, covering

Award winning authors from your award winning bookshop

subjects such as geology, archaeology and natural history, The Street Beneath My Feet offers children the opportunity to explore their world through a detailed learning experience. Its ‘leperello,’ or fold-out, style – which extends to 2.5 metres in length – is ideal for spreading out on the floor to pore over for hours. Starting in the city, take a journey down though the layers of the Earth, all the way to the planet’s core and out the other side. There are so many amazing sights to see along the way!

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Gaudere Et Bene Facere – Rejoice And Do Well | 27




Sarah Tait, Artslink

here are two ways to win money from the National Lottery – take a one-in-fourteenmillion chance by purchasing a ticket, or do as Sherborne’s ArtsLink did five years ago and submit a bid for lottery funds. The odds of success may be marginally shorter with the second method, but they are certainly more discriminating and testing. ArtsLink’s lottery-funded dream was to bring creative opportunities to support the lives of young people, children and families, particularly the disadvantaged. This project became known as ‘TakepArt’ and was managed separately from ArtsLink’s established role of providing paid-for art classes and cultural outings. The five years of funding awarded by the National Lottery have now come to an end. Reports have been written, received and approved and ArtsLink has had the opportunity to scrutinise its achievements. Throughout those five year’s TakepArt delivered weekly art and drama clubs, school holiday programmes – including the popular Arts Buffets, known to one child as the ‘hearts buffet,’ where painting and craft are undertaken – and gave teenagers and children new skills and lots of fun. An outreach bus for young people living in rural locations targeted creative 28 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

sessions for troubled teenagers, craft activities at public events such as the QE90 town celebrations, the spectacular Summer Theatre School, plus exhibition and performance opportunities at ArtsLink Annual Summer Show all encouraged participation and provided new opportunities. Working with partners to enable the delivery was vital to the success of the project and organisations within Sherborne embraced and supported ArtsLink unstintingly – especially the Youth Centre, Children’s Centre, RendezVous Centre, Community Development at The Gryphon School, Learning Centre and Sherborne Centre for Wellbeing. The TakepArt funding also enabled two projects which have left a permanent physical legacy – one, the ‘Art Cabin,’ is now a creative studio space in the grounds of the Tinney’s Lane Youth Centre (who have worked closely with TakepArt). It was built using sustainable resources, recycled tyres, straw bales, wood and a living roof by Huff and Puff Construction, along with help and muscle power from local community volunteers. The other is a mural frieze depicting a timeline history of Sherborne from 700 AD to the present day. TakepArt provided part of the funding, but also played a major

practical role in the creation of this large-scale public painting, now on permanent display in the town. In numbers alone, targets have been met and exceeded. A total of 66 individual projects delivered 815 sessions and engaged over 6,000 people. A further twenty-five young people above the age of fifteen, including office interns, have developed personal and vocational skills through volunteering activities during the term of the project. However, the real measures of success have come through the human stories, the responses and continued enthusiasm – particularly of young people who have been involved. There has been overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents and children, who have talked of greater self confidence, better school attendance, better behaviour, new skills and talents discovered, happier children, family and community relationships and new love of reading! These things may not be quantifiable, but they are observable and recognisable to the individuals who have taken part and to their families and loved ones. Here are just a few things young people have said about taking part: “It really helps me get out the house and meet such great like-minded people.”‘ “I started off quite timid and shy and I feel TakepArt has helped me grow in confidence in day-to-day life, but also as an actress. The people who run it are incredibly talented and inspiring; I have made some lifelong friends.” “It has boosted my confidence and self-belief in expressing my interests for something that I love.” So is it all over? Well, no! ArtsLink will continue to offer holiday Arts Buffets, while also applying for funding to continue the Summer Theatre School and extend this project. In addition, it has submitted a bid for a new phase of Lottery funding to undertake more projects that use the arts to support individuals and the community – but don’t think that is easy. The rules for proposals are byzantine – 80% of submissions made fail in the first round, but ArtsLink’s bid is through to the second, so keep your community fingers crossed and watch this space. The ArtsLink team will be working hard to maintain at least some of the good work achieved, with fundraising and other ways of bringing in income needed. A start has been made for the young people of Sherborne and we hope to build on this legacy in the future.








The story of a chair with furniture maker Matt Belfrage plus

Painting the Modern Garden with Julian Halsby Forced Rhubarb with Lisa Osman Literary Review with Wayne Winstone Valentine Gifts with Elly Vvaller The Dartford Warbler with Sally Welbourn The Battle of Agagia with Luke Mouland



with Steve Oxford plus

Coffee with the Dick-Reads

Artisan Easter Eggs with Elly Vvaller The March Hare with Sally Welbourn and Richard Bramble Seasonal Recipes with Lisa Osman, Sasha Matkevich and Brett Sutton Spring Pruning with Mike Burks Sherry with David Copp


Winter Visitors with Dorset Wildlife Trust Vintage Cars with Richard Bromell Seville Oranges with Lisa Osman Shopping Guide with Elly Vvaller Garden Design with Alan Dodge

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FENCES YET TO MEND Back on the farm with The Countrymen’s Club

A HELPING HAND Behind the scenes at Sherborne Food Bank

CORE VALUES with Simon and Victoria Baxter of Sherborne Cider

NEVER MISS A COPY If you enjoy reading the Sherborne Times but live outside our free distribution areas you can now receive your very own copy by post 12 editions delivered to your door for just £30.00 To subscribe, please call 01935 814803 or email | 29


EVER BEEN TOLD THAT ART’S “NOT YOUR THING”? THINK AGAIN… Ali Cockrean, expressionist landscape painter

Having recently moved to Sherborne, Ali Cockrean is now enthusiastically contributing her skills to the local art community, including tutoring a number of acrylics classes for ArtsLink. Here, in the first of a series of articles concerning art practice, she talks about her fascination and motivation for teaching art to adults.

30 | Sherborne Times | March 2017


y role as a tutor is so important to me, because I truly believe that everyone has a ‘hidden artist’ within. It gives me such satisfaction to watch every student’s personal journey of discovery and the joy it brings them. However, if I had a pound for every adult student I’ve taught who was told as a child that they had no talent for art, I’d be a very rich woman. Take Liz for example, now in her mid-60s, who was told exactly this when she was just 14 years old. She spent five decades believing it, despite having a desire to learn to paint all that time. Finally, in her sixth decade, she plucked up the courage to come to my studio for her first art lesson in over 50 years. She was terrified. A month later, after some concentrated tutoring, a lot of confidence-raising and plenty of practice, she completed her first pastel painting. Liz was a natural. Five years on, she has a small studio in her back garden and the confidence to sell her work through local art shows. Her only regret, she told me, was that she had lost 50 years of painting time. Sadly, this isn’t an unusual story and is one that I come across often when I tutor individuals and groups for the first time. There have been many programmes about art on the TV over the years. Exploring the history of art, appreciating art, studying the development of art, looking at particular painters, styles and genres. Most recently the focus has been on the fake-or-fortune stories of specific works. We now even have the art equivalent of The Great British Bake Off! Then there are the programmes devoted to practical art – how to paint, looking at a variety of techniques and mostly focused on watercolour – the most popular medium for budding artists. However, technique is only a tiny part of the drawing and painting story. In isolation it achieves very little, as technique alone does not make a good painter. More importantly, there are a number of fundamental principles regarding painting and drawing that are essential to learn, prior to focusing on specific techniques. These are very rarely discussed in any detail on TV and often not mentioned at all in how-to, technique-driven publications. These fundamental but essential components are simple and straightforward. They are easily

communicated through demonstration and explanation. They form the foundation upon which all good drawing and painting practice is built, regardless of subject matter or medium. Once these points are fully understood, they need to be regularly practised for a student’s work to swiftly develop and progress. However, with as little as an hour’s tuition, the improvement can be enormous. Added to this equation is the element of psychology which, crucially, determines the progress a student makes. Betty Edwards, an American artist, wrote a book some years ago called Drawing with the Right Side of the Brain. Her philosophy for teaching art is the one I have followed myself for ten years. In order to teach art effectively, it is necessary to understand how the brain works and how to access and train the right side – the creative side – using a variety of simple exercises. When you combine the fundamental skills with brain training, art becomes accessible to everyone. Learning to draw and paint is always an emotive experience, as students deal with the highs and lows of developing their skills and keeping their nerve – particularly when their confidence has taken a nosedive. This constant rollercoaster of emotion is all part of being an artist – amateur or professional – and it makes the journey challenging, eventful, fulfilling and, above all, fascinating. Taking people through this process has a profound and positive effect on the individuals concerned. It really isn’t just about producing nice pictures. Mostly the changes are far more powerful – increasing confidence, focus, self-esteem and self-worth, not just in the context of their art. It has the power to change lives… and frequently does. Just look at Liz! Ali Cockrean is a professional expressionist landscape painter and private art tutor. Her work takes her all over the south of England, giving talks and demonstrations, running workshops and classes, writing for the national art press and working with young artists building portfolios for art scholarships, GCSEs and A levels. Her own paintings sell internationally and her career has brought a number of significant commissions, including painting the Royal Diamond Jubilee River Pageant from the Millennium Bridge for the BBC in 2012. | 31



32 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

INDEPENDENT CINEMAS IN WESSEX: ALIVE AND KICKING Alexander Ballinger, film correspondent


he next time you’re walking across Waitrose car park, spare a thought for the Carlton Picture Palace, which dominated this site from 1929-1989. Designed in the fashionable ‘Tudorbethan’ style of the day, this 600-seat cinema boasted an auditorium panelled with hand-painted hunting scenes and a gilded, oak-filled foyer. In 1989 the Carlton, long since converted to Hunt’s Dairies and a vehicle maintenance shed, was demolished and Sherborne lost its greatest cinema for good. Luckily for adventurous Sherborne cinéastes not in thrall to Amazon Prime, Netflix, BFI Player or Mubi, there’s a trio of flourishing independent cinemas within striking distance. Described in 1933 as “one of the most modern buildings

34 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

Image: Katharine Davies


in the county,” the Plaza is an art deco gem set within the sleepy backstreets of Dorchester. Its monumental neo-Egyptian façade, now returned to its much-vaunted ‘snowcrete,’ still has the power to take the breath away. The same goes for its highly competitive pricing (£2.50 weekday screenings; £3.50 Saturday and Sunday, except for National Theatre (NT) and Royal Opera Live). Little wonder then that the La La Land screening I saw on a drab Monday a few weeks ago was packed to the gunnels. Having undergone a recent £500,000 restoration thanks to its owners Picturedrome, the Plaza – with its sunrise doors, geometric deco lighting and snazzy red, white and gold internal livery – puts the palace back into pictures. Plaza Cinema, journey time 30 mins., 01305 262488

Sherborne's Carlton PIcture Palace (Cinema Theatre Association Archive)

Strode Theatre

The Wells Film Centre is a quirky complex found in the lee of Wells’s defunct deco cinema, The Regal. The vision of local impresario Derek Cooper, who began his fledgling cinema career winding films in the Regal, the WFC has evolved from a ramshackle village hall and scout huts to become a hospitable three-screen cinema, celebrating 25 years in the film business this year. Its community-minded programme ranges from cut-price cinema club matinées (also available to U3A, WI and RBL members) accompanied with a free brew and biscuits, to buzzy NT live performances – lately, Amadeus has been playing to packed houses – and latest Hollywood releases such as Jackie and Silence. From 26th-30th April, the WFC plays host and joint sponsor to the second Wells Festival of Film. Already the buzz is growing for the fest’s open-air screening of the Wells-set Hot Fuzz at the Bishop’s Palace. Funny to think that Hot Fuzz could well have been dreamt up in the WFC, as its maverick director Edgar Wright was once one of its projectionists. Wells Film Centre, journey time 45 mins., 01749 673195

exhibition space and a light-filled licensed café. Its pièce de résistance is its auditorium, remodelled in the 90s by legendary theatre designer John Bury. It has the feel of a mini Royal Festival Hall, with its rich wooden panelling mixed with a hint of another Bury project, the new Glyndebourne festival auditorium. Mainly staffed by a team of enthusiastic volunteers, it also has excellent access for wheelchair users. Strode Theatre, journey time 35 mins., 01458 442846

Strode Theatre in Street was built in 1963, thanks to funding from the Clarks Brothers. Its cinema strand began life as a basic film club in the 60s, becoming a regional film society in the 70s and 80s. Today it offers a mainstream, art-house and foreign language programme the envy of any cinema in the land – its eclectic March programme includes Oscar-winners Manchester by the Sea, Hacksaw Ridge and Moonlight. Formerly an archetypal 1960s blocky, brick-and-glass building, Strode Theatre has been transformed over the decades into an architect award-winning venue with

In his autobiography The Council House Kid: Growing up in 1950s Sherborne (Dovecote Press 2000) Cliff Mogg described The Carlton with less rose-tinted spectacles than me. “There was nothing palatial about the ‘palace’,” he writes. “It was a drab place with wooden floorboards and uncomfortable seats.” (If in any doubt about this you can check a couple of the Carlton’s seats, preserved in Sherborne Museum). So what is the future of cinema in Sherborne in 2017? With anonymous funding in place for a new £4m community arts centre in Paddock Gardens and a public hearing on its future scheduled soon, it appears that Sherborne might have a stateof-the-art, comfortable cinema space for a 120-strong audience in the years ahead. If and when a new community arts centre emerges, you might even be able to see it from Waitrose car park. @lexBallinger Author of The Rough Guide to Film Noir (published by Penguin) and New Cinematographers (published by Laurence King) | 35


A NEW GENERATION BRINGS CHANGE TO MAPPERTON Andy Foster BSC(Hons) BA(Hons) BArch(Hons) CEng MIStructE RIBA, director, Raise Architects


apperton, near Beaminster, is well known for its spectacular Italianate valley garden, Jacobean manor house and for being the family home of the Earl and Countess of Sandwich. Voted the nation’s finest manor house by Country Life magazine, the principal buildings are Grade I listed and the park and gardens are Grade II* listed. The gardens at Mapperton have been enjoyed by the public since the 1960s and last summer was the first time that the house was opened to the public for the whole season. Mapperton appears as a timeless jewel, unchanged for generations. However this is of course an illusion, as it has changed subtly but substantially over the past thirty years under the management of the current earl and countess. Their son, Viscount Hinchingbrooke, now

Image: Katharine Davies 36 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

wants to implement a number of changes to enable the estate to welcome larger numbers of visitors. Finding ways to keep historic places in use is the key to securing their future. At Mapperton, this will require some things to change – and the way in which that change is handled has raised some difficult questions. For Mapperton to succeed, it will need to make full use of all the existing buildings. Providing the facilities for increased visitor numbers and adapting estate buildings has required much careful planning over recent years. The first stages of those plans are just starting to be implemented with the installation of a new district heating system, powered by a wood chip biomass boiler. In the spring, the next phase of the plan will commence, which includes the construction of a new shop building,

access drive and parking area. Also included in this phase of the plan will be the conversion of the stables to create a new café, event space and catering kitchen, as well as an upgrade to the family accommodation in the main house. So what’s it like to be an architect involved in projects like these? What difficult issues have arisen? Well, first of all it’s a privilege. To be a small part of the family-led team hoping to safeguard Mapperton’s future is incredibly rewarding and, to be honest, a project like this appeals to both sides of the architect’s ego. On the one hand, the works include some new buildings where none have existed before and to be making a mark in such an important place is really exciting. On the other, the challenges posed by working with such sensitive existing buildings necessitates some well researched and considered interventions to ensure a positive impact on the buildings and their setting. Providing for modern expectations of functionality and comfort in heritage buildings inevitably presents some significant challenges. The implications of the new layouts and the provision of daylight, heating and ventilation all present difficulties in buildings that were built for other

purposes. In addition, unlike other estates where there might be an adjacent utilitarian home farm or estate yard, at Mapperton even the outbuildings were built to impress. Everything is on show and there is nowhere to hide the ‘back-of-house’ facilities that nobody wants to see. Our role as architects is to strike the balance between maximising the potential of the place and ensuring that its much-loved character is retained. Mapperton is relatively informal and it is also a family home; maintaining its sense of place while increasing the visitor numbers in order to sustain it is a big challenge. Starting now and continuing in the off-season periods over the next couple of years, Mapperton will be undergoing change. We hope that the experience for visitors will be enhanced as a result. But only you can be the judge of that… Mapperton Gardens are open from 1st March 2017 Mapperton House and café are open from 2nd April 2017 | 37


Fabric by Clarke & Clarke

ARE WE THERE YET? Kitty Oakshott, Upstairs Downstairs Interiors


on’t get me wrong, there you have a neutral background and are so many things about you can get some fantastic scatter winter that I enjoy – cushions with big bright flowers long nights to cuddle up with my printed on them to usher in the favourite blanket and book, basking sunshine. If you choose a floral in the heat of an open fire and pattern for your curtains and want getting out for crisp winter walks. it all year round then consider However, there comes a time when natural weaves, as they feel cosy I start to hanker after the longer during the winter months and are days and it’s about this time of year lovely and cool during summer. – when I know the clocks are about Avoiding clutter is another great to spring forward – that I have this way of presenting your carefully burning desire to leap-frog into selected pieces in the home. Be warmer weather. brave and splash out on a truly If anything, I miss the variety Fabric by Chess Designs bold colour. Why not try splashes of flowers you get throughout the of yellow or lime green to liven up summer. My garden so often looks neglected during the the area and add that extra element of energy to the winter months – and that’s probably for the very good house? In the bedroom, get a bespoke headboard made reason that it has been. Still, the days are not quite warm in a fabric that livens up the whole room. It is absolutely enough to be spending anything more than a lengthy fine to mix styles – a dollop of country floral fabric here moment outdoors. I think to myself, I am blessed to and a scoop of bold feature items there. But remember be able to experience all these wonderful seasons, but to clear up the clutter, otherwise all your efforts will be enough is enough – bring on the sun! without reward. Impatient as I can be with wanting to see spring I’m off to pop the cork on some beautifully chilled popping up everywhere in the garden, with daffodils prosecco now to celebrate a successful start to the new year and tulips and all the colours my heart desires, I want to and the bringing in of new life and new seasons. Cheers. hurry the process along and bring the summertime a bit earlier into my home. Bold prints are very popular when 38 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

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Richard Bromell ASFAV, Charterhouse Auctioneers

here are several things I would like to own or know how to do. Firstly, I desire a crystal ball that actually works. As and when I felt the need to look into the future, I would be able to do so with confidence. It might tempt me to play the stock market too. Secondly, I would like to know how to repair glass so that the join was invisible. Not only would this save children from being told off for breaking Grandma’s best crystal vase, but I would no doubt make a large fortune as there would be a very high demand. I would, however, sort out the Portland Vase in the British Museum for no charge. Thirdly, and perhaps most relevant to my business, I would like to know the secret of what drives collectors. Collectors collect. That is what they do. Some collect the weirdest items – perhaps the most bizarre collection I have come across in over 30 years of auctioneering was a person who collected travel sick bags. 10/10 for originality, there. Some collect because of nostalgia. The items may be what they had as a child or young adult, things that were discarded or handed down to a friend or other family member. Equally, it can be because it was what they could not have when they were younger. My first car was a Triumph Herald – what I really wanted was a Bristol 411, but this was a pipe dream on my salary. I still spend more time reading classic car magazines, dreaming of a Bristol

42 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

411 rather than a Triumph Herald and, with the rise of classic and vintage car values over the past few years, the Bristol will remain a reverie (or so Mrs B tells me). Some collect for no other reason than that they like the shape, colour or designs. These can be fine on their own, but when you combine shape, colour and design, collecting can start to overtake your life. This is exactly what happened to a client in Manchester, who recently passed away. He was an academic who became interested in collecting Beswick. Whilst Beswick made a wide of range of animals, he had a particular interest in horses. So much so that he amassed a huge stud of horses, probably approaching 500 animals. Some have tails up, some tails down, some heads up and some heads down, along with legs in various positions. This, combined with various colourways such as rocking-horse grey, chestnut, brown, white and black to name just a few, resulted in the Manchester house having every shelf and tabletop crammed with horses. Whatever started him off collecting Beswick horses we will sadly never know, but when they go under the hammer in our two-day 18th and 19th May auction, they will surely be hotly contested by other similar collectors!

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TRY SOMETHING NEW THIS SPRING Mike Burks, managing director, The Gardens Group


lthough we have been reflecting on Castle Gardens’ past 30 years, it’s also good to look forward and try something different in the garden. A lot has changed since 1987 when Castle Gardens first opened its doors, especially the average size of people’s gardens. Most indicative of this is with the quantity of seed potatoes that gardeners grow today. Back in 1987, it wasn’t uncommon for a customer to purchase 56lbs of one variety of seed potato for their vegetable garden. In contrast, today we often get asked if they can be purchased individually, for growing in pots on the patio, which was almost unheard of 30 years ago. Varieties were often chosen more for their yield than anything else, whereas today flavour is more of a consideration. Style, too, is a modern factor, with the influence of the supermarkets introducing us to salad varieties such as Charlotte. The encouragement of eating five a day, which in recent years has increased to seven, has also influenced gardeners. In Japan this has been trumped by suggestions of 15 a day, but this 15 refers to different colours of vegetables, with each shade giving a health boost. UK seed producers have responded to this health advice, with the rainbow ranges found in Thompson & Morgan’s collection including beetroot and carrots. The beetroot ranges from white and concentric rings of pink and white to yellow and more traditional colours. The latest is a variety called boldor, which is a powerful yellow and has foliage that also can be eaten. One of its attributes is that it doesn’t stain like regular beetroot. 46 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

Carrots originally were more of a purple rather than red, but the original colour is very much in vogue. The variety purple haze is a great shade and, as it’s also high in nutrients and antioxidants, it’s also very good for us. Chefs are also intrigued by powerful colour and in high demand is very dark-leaved kale such as nero di toscana, a very striking plant that looks really good as well as being a very versatile ingredient. The garden writer and broadcaster James Wong is full of new ideas and he has teamed up with Sutton’s to produce an exciting collection of vegetable plants. Many people have tried the cucamelon, grape-sized fruits that look like mini watermelons, taste like cucumber and are really good fun to grow. James also suggests growing what he describes as inca berries,

which are in fact a variation on the cape gooseberry or chinese lantern. The flavour of these is very special and, because of their compact size, they are as ornamental as they are edible, perfect if space is an issue for you. In 1987, perpetual spinach was in huge demand long after it was revealed that, due to a decimal point being in the wrong place when calculating the iron content of the vegetable, Popeye’s strength couldn’t just be down to his love of the vegetable. James Wong is suggesting we try the callaloo, which is a Caribbean spinach. Its Latin name is amaranthus, a genus of ornamental plants and sometimes known as love lies bleeding and Joseph’s coat. Again, the yellow and red foliage will look great on your patio as well as on your plate. At the time of writing there are headlines in the

news telling us of the crisis in supermarkets and the rationing of courgettes, lettuce and broccoli because of adverse weather in Spain. I’m not sure that there have been fights in the fruit and veg aisles in Sherborne, but it is a good reminder that perhaps we ought to be more self-sufficient, especially in light of the decision to leave the European Union. I don’t think any politician foresaw that particular shortage during the referendum campaign but it might have swayed the floating middle class voter. Self-sufficiency can start in our own vegetable gardens, allotments or even on the patio, so to keep the interest levels up, as well as growing your old favourites, try something new this year. | 47

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We are having two open days at the Lawn and Landscape Centre on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th March. The Lawn and Landscape Centre is the home of Sherborne Turf Machinery, Topsoil, Composts, Aggregates, hand tools and more. On site we will have experts in fertiliser, grass seed and garden machinery, to really help you kick start spring in your garden, Please register on our website for further details. n

Tel 01935 850388 Lawn & Landscape Centre on the Marston Road, Sherborne DT9 4SX 48 | Sherborne Times | March 2017




Bill Butters Windows are now installing the UltraRoof 380, a lightweight tiled roof which allows the installation of multiple glass panels or Velux Windows. UltraRoof 380 is ideal for those who want a solid roof but wish to retain an element of light within the room. UltraRoof380 overcomes the twin issues of your conservatory being too hot in summer and too cold in winter. Moreover, it provides a beautiful vaulted plastered ceiling interior and a stunning lightweight tile finish. For more information, please get in touch, or visit our showroom and factory where we manufacture all of our windows, doors & conservatories.

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Unit 1a > South Western Business Pk > Sherborne > Dorset > DT9 3PS 01935 816 168

GOLDHILL ORGANICS Words Jo Denbury Photography Katharine Davies


t’s raining and the river Stour is running high. Occasionally the downpour stops for a while – the curtain of mist splits, revealing the briefest glimpse of sunshine before the wet descends again. No matter what the weather, however, business starts early at Gold Hill Organic Farm. This morning in Child Okeford, under the watchful gaze of Hambledon Hill, the Cross family are pulling leeks from the soil, backs bent, a handful at a time. Other vegetables soon follow. Boots anchored in the sticky mud, I watch the tubers and roots being eased from the earth, each plump specimen conspicuously boasting flavour and nutrients. By this afternoon, they will have been delivered to doorsteps across Dorset. >

50 | Sherborne Times | March 2017 | 51

The outdoor work is physically demanding and often emotionally challenging. Alongside the lingering threat of poor weather, organic farmers endure the imaginative management of bugs that would otherwise be eliminated with pesticides in common usage elsewhere. However, Sara and Andrew Cross, the farmers at Gold Hill Organic Farm, have risen willingly to the challenge and embraced the lifestyle for the best part of 30 years. Soil is land. It is redolent of place and identity – and that fact is not lost on the two of them. Andrew grew up at Gold Hill. Back then it was a dairy farm, run by his father, David. However, when Andrew developed an interest in organic farming – particularly after a chance meeting with Charles Dowding, who 52 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

developed the ‘No Dig’ organic gardening scheme – David agreed to give him two acres. He then set about building the raised beds that still exist today. It wasn’t long before Andrew’s wife Sara joined him. The Cross family’s approach to farming is holistic. In the beginning they were such stout believers in doing everything organically, they did not even have a tractor. Although a red Zetor did eventually appear, it has always been used sparingly – to plough fields or transport loads. “All our vegetables are organic, including the seeds,” says Sara. “If we can’t find an organic seed for something we want to grow, we get permission from the Soil Association to source a seed elsewhere.” Theirs is a principled approach that builds a positive

"Jane wants to work with nature rather than against it"

health across the ecology of the farm – but it hasn’t been without its setbacks. The exceptionally wet summer of 2012 meant that the crops were ruined, leading to a drastic shortfall. “The reality is that organic farming is affected by the weather,” explains Sara. “We simply couldn’t get to the land that summer to prepare it. It became too weedy and too wet to hoe and was at risk of disease.” However, Sara and Andrew are resilient and their message has always been the same – to produce good-quality organic food and to maintain a sense of the community. At the heart of the family is Annie Cross, Andrew’s mother. Granny Annie, as she is known, has lived at the farm for over 50 years. “When we started the farm 60 acres was a lot, but people would think of it as a smallholding by today’s standards,” she says. “At the time there were 11 farms around here, but now there are just a couple.” She goes on to reminisce on how much the face of farming has changed since then, when they sold milk from their Guernsey herd at the gate. Annie clearly enjoyed being part of a community as she began a nursery school at the farm in 1967 then, later, started running a bed-and-breakfast. Whether by serendipity or plain good luck, Jane and Nick Somper – who now run the Goldhill Organics vegetable box business from the farm –came to stay at Annie’s B&B. “Jane and I walked into the farmhouse kitchen 24 years ago,” says Nick – and this was the start of a very happy marriage between business and vegetables. The Sompers loved it so much at Gold Hill that they began to return regularly – and it wasn’t long before they decided to move to Dorset on a permanent basis. Jane asked if she could help in the farm shop and was soon a full-time member of staff. Then, a few years ago, she decided she would like to run a veg box scheme. Nick left his job and, together, they set up Goldhill Organics delivery business. Jane’s passion is for the direct connection between how the food we eat is produced, and our health. She wants to work with nature, rather than against it. Looking around the farm, it is very clear that a lot of the land is left very natural and open to wildlife – at Gold Hill, even the deer can come in for a nibble. But, for Jane, it is paramount that everyone who receives one of her veg boxes knows where the food has come from and that it is fresh and organic. In essence, the fact is that if you get salad in your box, you know that it has been picked that morning and not been through some form of chemical treatment so that it can sit on a supermarket shelf for 10 days. > | 53

54 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

Seasonality is everything – and while you can’t expect strawberries at Christmas, Jane is keen to point out that they are flexible about the content of their boxes and try to adhere to customers’ wishes as closely as possible. So if you dislike beetroot, for example – though personally I don’t see how anyone could – she will swap it for something else. What is exciting about a veg box is that it encourages you to eat something you wouldn’t ordinarily choose in the supermarket. The farm grows such a variety of produce that you may even receive items that are unavailable in your local store. The boxes also discourage waste, because the idea is that you use up the box before the next one arrives. But for Jane – who is a mother of three and used to cooking up feasts for all the family – it is the provenance of food that is most important. “I really want to connect people with food of far greater quality,” she says. To this end, she and Nick have recently partnered with Follow This Food, which provides customers with information on the provenance of their meat. The Bristol company has developed bar code technology, allowing you to scan a label and see exactly where that product has come from. The purpose of the system is to help you to understand where your meat has been reared and slaughtered, and feel confident that you are buying good-quality produce from dependable sources. Goldhill Organics has teamed up with Blackmore Vale Butchery whose non-organic, but locally sourced and grass-fed meat they deliver, will now carry this active labelling system. Although the delivery business is run separately from Andrew and Sara Cross’s farm, the two couples work, quite literally, alongside each other, like two pillars of the temple. Together, they are striving to ensure that everyone in the county can enjoy the benefits of locally grown organic vegetables. Not that ‘local’ means ‘limited’ – this unusual and dedicated farm is renowned for its sheer variety of produce. “Fennel is one of our biggest crops,” says Sara. “But we also grow lots of other vegetables –including chillies, aubergines, kale, kohlrabi, cavolo nero, all sorts of lettuce… In fact, pretty much anything will grow in Child Okeford except for potatoes.” She laughs. “We give potatoes a miss, so Jane buys them in from another organic grower.”. Well, we all have our limitations but Goldhill certainly won’t be letting us go hungry.

From our table to yours

New Website! Order online at 01963 548181 |

COFFEE BREAK Kafe Fontana 82 Cheap Street, Sherborne, DT9 3BJ @kafefontana kafefontana 01935 812180 Old School Gallery Boyle’s Old School, High Street, Yetminster, DT9 6LF 01935 872761 Oliver’s Coffee House 19 Cheap Street, Sherborne, DT9 3PU @OliversSherbs Olivers-Coffee-House 01935 815005 The Three Wishes 78 Cheap Street, Sherborne, DT9 3BJ 01935 817777 | 55

Image: Giles Dick-Read

Food & Drink



Giles Dick Read, Reads Coffee Roasters

t was time for a field trip with purpose. So I set out to try to discover what it is that makes for a great café. Is it just about the coffee, or is there more to it? Where better to begin than the hipster heartland that’s home to the UK’s barista culture, Shoreditch. ‘Sewer Ditch,’ as it may have rather unglamorously started out, has been the home of offbeat and disorderly establishments for centuries. Sitting as it does to the north – and outside the jurisdiction – of the historically puritanical City, it’s always been known as the place where the boys may have gone for some colourful lunchtime entertainment. It’s had a charmed life; Hitler missed it with his V2s and the London bomb map shows it left relatively unscathed considering how close it was to what must have been the Luftwaffe’s bullseye. Today, aided by years of post-war neglect, this adds up to some of the best-preserved streets in London. Recent years have seen a new invasion – gentrification has taken over from decay and the gents most responsible for the process are those most caffeine-fixated of groups… The Hipsters. 56 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

Loved and loathed in equal measure, the hipsters of today now have a hold on Shoreditch that rivals the tenacity of a limpet. Now I may be many things but, in all honesty, I probably represent the antithesis of a modern day hipster. With great deference to our esteemed editor, but without a jot of facial hair, no flat cap and sporting a full set of gears on my bicycle, I suspect that to a crowd of hipsters I am technically invisible, thus creating a wonderful opportunity for me to spend some time wandering their home turf in search of the ultimate café. It shouldn’t be too tricky, for there is a greater concentration of coffee bars and roasters in Shoreditch’s 700-odd acres than anywhere else in Europe. Of course, my quest is helped to some extent by the fact that I’ve been here a few times before so have, in the past, visited most of better-known establishments. Therein lies a problem. Whilst there are, without doubt, some superb roasteries, seriously skilled operators and fantastically manicured beards around here, I struggle

to find an espresso I actually like served in a place that doesn’t make me feel like I’m an alien. The problem is acid – leaving me with a face screwed like I’ve just sucked a lemon. By that I don’t mean the stuff you find in batteries, I mean the bright, sharp flavours enhanced in very light roasts, heralded as the sign of the highest quality Arabica beans. Acidity in coffee is to be applauded in the finest African beans – nothing beats a fantastically fruity Kenya or Ethiopian brewed through a filter – but whether it should find its way into a good espresso is a matter for some debate. One thing’s for sure, Shoreditch’s cafes can’t get enough of the stuff. A trend led, to some extent, by the influx of antipodean roasters who arrived a decade or so ago. In what may be a modern take on the emperor’s new clothes, the hipster coffee crew have embraced acidity in coffee to the point of it becoming part of their uniform, some with skill and knowledge, others less so. That’s fine, but the problem comes when the coffee drinker, the ultimate judge, is made to feel that they are doing something wrong if they don’t enjoy it. The Italians, who know a thing or two about espresso, have been roasting their beans rather darker and smoother for decades.

After what seems quite a while, I see yet another sign claiming ‘great coffee,’ this time from ‘The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club’. The word ‘motor’ in front of ‘cycle’ is bound to catch my attention but, wary that I may have stumbled upon Shoreditch’s own ‘Blue Oyster Bar’, after noting a reassuring absence of Harley-Davidsons, I took the plunge to find what can only be described as a coffee-loving biker’s heaven. This is the sort of place where the whiff of Castrol R hangs in the air. The coffee – Italian, served from a Gaggia – is powerful, smooth and refreshingly devoid of excessive acidity. Service comes with a smile and no-one seems ‘too cool for school.’ While I sit with a Triumph and Ducati for company, I contemplate that here, the place is the star, the bikes, paraphernalia and lifestyle of the admittedly bearded, though undoubtedly mature hipster crowd, the talking point. The barista is a part of the show, not the show itself… that’s how it should be. It’s the place, not just the coffee, that makes it, so maybe Shoreditch is saved after all!

Sherborne’s coffee roaster

Order online or by phone 01935 481010

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Speciality coffee roasters with 20 years experience, suppliers to trade and retail | 57

Food & Drink


We are so pleased to welcome the eternally lovely Val Stones to the Sherborne Times. Val joins us fresh from the Great British Bake Off to share some of her cherished recipes in a brand new monthly baking column. Enjoy!


have been baking and cooking for more than fifty years. In my early married life I took ten years out to be a stay-a-home mum – a luxury so you might think, but times were hard. Inflation was high and we were first-time house buyers with a mortgage. Once I had dropped the children off at school I would

come home to bake and sew. I made the children’s clothes as well as curtains, bedding and even pillows filled with down, recycling feather beds my husband’s grandmother had given me. I also had to learn how to feed my family healthily on very little money. I was foraging the hedgerows and woodlands long before it became

Image: Katharine Davies 58 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

a fashionable hobby – in those days, it was a necessity. I also looked up economical recipes in magazines and created my own recipe book, adapting recipes to our personal taste and often for cheaper ingredients. One of my favourite recipe books was one that my sister Denise gave me. It was by Michel Roux Senior and I worked my way through it, trying out both sweet and savoury dishes. This was my time for learning – it was when I first tried out different pastries, cakes and puddings. As the children grew I returned to teaching, but never lost my love of trying out fresh ideas. At the same time, I had to juggle a family and a job, so I needed to develop quick, economical meals and bakes to fit into the family’s busy week. My recipe book continued to grow until it contained hand-written recipes from my mum, my husband Ian’s mum and both our grandmothers. I would have a schedule for baking in the school holidays – bread one day, pastries the next, made-up

meals and so on, then I would freeze things. This way I always had something home-cooked on hand when I came home from work and it wouldn’t be long before a meal was hot and on the table. Having taught for over 30 years – eventually becoming a head teacher – I learned the art of planning ahead, using both store-cupboard and fresh ingredients. I shopped once a month for the cupboard items and had even saved up a years’ worth of shopping lists (showing the prices paid) – something that used to entertain my fellow bakers on The Great British Bake Off! But I have always tried to use the best healthy ingredients whilst remaining cost-conscious. Over the coming editions of Sherborne Times I will share some of these recipes with you and this month, we are starting with something sweet.



have always used spelt flour for bread, but recently I’ve been experimenting with it. These biscuits are crisp with a little bit of a chew in the middle and full of ginger flavour, as I use both stem ginger and ground ginger. They are quick to make and bake in 8-9 minutes. Perfect with a cuppa and ideal to bag up and sell for school fairs, charity events and gifts when you visit friends and family. Makes about 25 Ingredients

50g unsalted butter 50g golden syrup, (I weigh into a small dish, adding about an extra 10g to make up for the stuff that gets left behind when you scrape it out!) 50g stem ginger, finely chopped – don’t use all the juice 50g caster sugar 50g light soft brown sugar (the two sugars are good because the caster sugar helps the crispness and the brown sugar the chewiness) 1 egg yolk 150g white spelt flour 1 1/2 tps ground ginger 1/2 tps bicarbonate of soda 1 tps vanilla extract Method

1 Set the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 2 Place the butter, golden syrup and stem ginger in a

microwaveable bowl and heat on medium heat until they are just melted – about two bursts of one minute. 3 Beat in the two sugars, then the egg yolk, flour, ground ginger, bicarbonate of soda and finally the vanilla extract. Stir well until combined and you have a soft dough. 4 I use my digital scales at this point to make sure that the biscuits turn out the same size, using a small piece of silicon to stop the dough from sticking. Each one should weigh 16g, which makes a nice little biscuit. Place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment, spaced about 6cm apart as the biscuits spread out when baking. 5 Bake for 7-9 minutes. They will rise and become golden around the edges, but don’t let them go too dark as they can taste burnt. 6 Remove them from the oven, let them cool for a moment then use an offset spatula – much better than the straight ones – to lift onto a cooling rack. 7 Once cool they can be stored in an airtight tin and will keep for up to a month – but you will have eaten them before then! 8 For a variation on these biscuits, replace the ginger with 50g finely chopped dried apricots and a teaspoon of mixed spice. Alternatively, also in place of the ginger, soak 50g of raisins in the juice of an orange for at least one hour before adding to your dough, along with the zest of an orange and a teaspoon of cinnamon. | 59

Food & Drink



Sasha Matkevich, head chef and owner, The Green with Jack Smith, apprentice chef

flat, white and often incredibly large fish, the halibut is wonderfully firm and meaty with a mild sweet taste. The subtly nutty sunchoke takes patience to prepare but this deliciously smooth soup is worth the effort. Please do make sure that you buy your halibut from a reliable sustainable source. Serves 6 Ingredients

50g butter 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped 400ml fish stock 1 bay leaf 2 sprigs of thyme 500ml milk 400g sunchokes ( Jerusalem artichokes) peeled and diced 400g halibut loin, cut into large chunks 200ml double cream 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley 2 tbsp sourdough breadcrumbs 60 | Sherborne Times | March 2017


1 Melt the butter and fry the onion until soft but without colouring. 2 Add the stock, bay leaf and thyme, simmer gently for 5 minutes. 3 Add milk and sunchokes, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer once more until the sunchokes are completely cooked. 4 Strain off a large ladle of the liquid into a small pan and gently poach the halibut until just firm. 5 Lift the fish out with a slotted spoon and put aside on a warm plate. 6 Return the poaching liquid to the soup, discard the bay leaf and thyme and liquidise 7 Pass through a fine sieve, add cream, parsley and halibut and warm through. 8 Serve with breadcrumbs



Jane Somper, Goldhill Organics

e all enjoy a good old-fashioned meat casserole, something that cooks slowly and can be left to mature for a few days so the flavours meld together and become richer and deeper. This month we have been able to source some wonderful local venison, a lean wild meat packed full of flavour, but which tends to be a bit dry if you’re not careful. Here is what we will be making for a big sharing dish to warm the soul. Serves 6-8 Ingredients

1kg diced venison 500ml of good red wine – and a glass for the chef ! 8-10 black peppercorns 2 heaped tbsp of juniper berries 2 tbsp of olive oil 5 onions, sliced 5-6 carrots, sliced 2-3 bay leaves 2 tbsp flour Pinch of salt Ground black pepper


1 Place the venison, red wine, peppercorns, juniper berries and bay leaves in a large bowl and leave to marinate overnight, or as long as you can – a few hours will do, but the longer the better. 2 When ready to cook, heat 1 tbsp oil in large ovenproof pan and cook the onions until pale – not burnt or brown – then remove from the pan and leave to one side. Pre-heat oven to 140C. 3 Retaining the marinade in the bowl, remove the venison and dry with a paper towel. Add the salt and pepper to the flour and toss the venison until all pieces are covered in a good coating. 4 Now, in small batches, add the venison to the pan and brown, adding more oil if required. When all the meat is browned, return to the pan with the onions, add the sliced carrots and pour in the marinade liquid. 5 Cover the pan and place in the oven. Check after three hours and baste, then leave to cook for another hour, by which time the meat should be tender and full of flavour. | 61

Food & Drink



very year on 26th January, Australia Day, wine writers are invited to taste Australian wines in London. For me it is one of the very best tastings of the year and an opportunity to taste some of the world’s greatest wines. Having been trained in the classic wine regions of Europe in the 1960s, when a typical wine merchant’s list devoted 18 pages to French wines, six or seven to Germany, four to fortified wines and one page to the rest of the world, it is hardly surprising that I should have remained ignorant about Australian wines for so long. In fact it was a Burgundian shipper, Paul Bouchard – who often went Down Under to sell his wines – who first alerted me to “growers with a refreshing and innovative approach to viticulture that will make a telling difference to the quality of their wines in the not-too-distant future.” I took notice of my good friend and first went in the early 1980s, going back several times since. In 2008 I was invited with other wine writers to do a comprehensive tour of the Australian wine regions and found Bouchard’s prediction accurate. In the twenty years after 1985, Australian table wine exports rose from nothing to A$6.5 billion. Since then the dynamics of the industry changed due to the severe water restrictions in the three largest wine-producing regions. As a result, Australia began to concentrate on developing its diverse range of regional wines made higher up the valleys, where rainfall is more generous. The net result has been concentration on a diverse range of very distinctive world-class regional wines such as Margaret River chardonnay, Coonawarra cabernets and Barossa shiraz. However, this article is not about Australia’s signature wines, but about grenache, a variety of Spanish origin made famous in Aragon and Catalonia and across the French border in Languedoc-Roussillon. I recently attended the grenache master class given by

62 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

Sarah Ahmed MW, which confirmed that grenache is a site-and-soil-sensitive variety – it likes lean and nitrous soil often found on windy ridges, where ‘poorer’ clay and stony soils are dominant. Grenache is a hardy vine that can flourish in such soils in extreme heat by digging deep to find natural water supply. This, and a relatively low yield, gives the vine longevity – in McLaren Vale, South Australia, it is not uncommon to come across 100-year-old vines. Since vine vigour is less marked in older vines, the wines they produce are more concentrated. They are also more elegant, because the grapes mature slowly and deliver greater intensity of flavour. As with pinot noir, lower yields deliver mean higher prices, but if you want to give yourselves a treat look for old-vine grenache with some bottle-age from top producers such as SC Pannell, d’Arenberg, Chapel Hill and Yalumba, who all produce hedonistic old-vine grenache with an exotic, spicy character. I also have a soft spot for Justin McNamee of Samuel’s Gorge, who described his 2006 wine to me as being like “a punnet of strawberries tossed in balsamic vinegar, to which a little dung has been added.” When my eyebrows indicated surprise he added, “and look out for the boiled beetroot flavours. Let them explode in your mouth.” And they did, with remarkable softness. “The softness comes from old bush vines planted in blindingly white sandy soil,” McNamee confirmed. As you may have gathered, his wines are driven by texture. But McNamee is just one of many colourful characters who are producing the exciting and innovative wines that Paul Bouchard predicted. They are worth seeking out from good wine merchants and the better supermarkets. Morrison’s sells the Yalumba version at £12 a bottle. You may have to pay twice as much for Steve Pannell’s wine but, one day when you are feeling good, have a go.

Winemaker Justin McNamee of Samuel’s Gorge on a quick lunch break | 63

Animal Care

101 DONATIONS Mark Newton-Clarke, MA VetMB PhD MRCVS, Newton Clarke Veterinary Surgeons


arch heralds the beginning of spring – and spring for me is the start of the year. With longer, lighter and hopefully warmer days ahead, it’s time to look ahead rather than behind. The future path for our veterinary practice is gradually taking form with new Yeovil premises and new staff, the former replacing the Wyndham Hill surgery and the latter helping to cope with our ever-increasing number of patients. In February we welcomed Vicky Sands MRCVS to our veterinary team; Vicky has been living and working in the area and comes with a medicine certificate – a post-graduate qualification that takes 64 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

three years of extra study. Meanwhile, our new Yeovil base will be the old Preston Plucknett hotel, which is currently undergoing the last phase of its restoration and conversion into a state-of-the-art veterinary surgery and should be opening in May. Swan House will continue to fly the Newton Clarke flag in Sherborne and, although I am now commander rather than captain, I will be on the bridge for a few years yet! So that’s the local news in a nutshell. This month I thought I would discuss a topic that’s well-known in human medicine, but relatively new in veterinary medicine – blood transfusion. There is now a commercial

canine and feline blood bank, where we can obtain whole blood and its products within a few hours if necessary. Very convenient, but also very expensive! We can, of course, use blood from pets whose owners are willing to allow the donation, a process almost identical to human blood giving. Coco Bean, my dear departed chocolate Labrador, donated blood multiple times and saved several lives. Portia, the young black snoring lump beside me on the sofa, is the latest addition to our family and has already helped save an ulcerated eye using her blood serum. It might come as a surprise that blood is used

for many medical conditions, not just blood loss. If whole blood is allowed to clot and then separated by centrifugation, the liquid serum is full of proteins that inhibit bacterial growth and supply essential nutrients – important treatment for the seriously ulcerated cornea. If collected blood is not allowed to clot, it can be separated further into its components – red and white blood cells, plasma, platelets and proteins – to treat other specific conditions. Anaemia is a common problem in dogs and cats, specifically affecting red blood cells. It’s better to use packed red cells as the volume of the transfusion is much less than whole blood, speeding up the process and reducing the danger of volume overload. Haemophilia comes in several different forms in dogs, as in humans, affecting various proteins (clotting factors) in the cascade of molecular events that results in a blood clot. Plasma rich in these proteins can help patients with bleeding disorders, along with the tiny fragments called platelets, which form the initial plug to block a hole in a blood vessel. Whole blood contains all these elements, but using a transfusion containing red blood cells unnecessarily carries with it significant risks. It’s all due to blood types and the fact that a whole blood transfusion is essentially a transplant from one individual to another, each of whom will usually have non-identical genetics. As with solid organ transplants, genetic differences between donor and recipient means rejection, to various degrees. If red blood cells are seriously rejected, they burst (haemolyse) releasing their contents into the blood stream – most importantly, haemoglobin. Fine when locked into red blood cells, haemoglobin wreaks havoc with our kidneys if released in quantity. Cross-matching minimises differences between individuals’ red blood cells and seeks to prevent the worst sort of transfusion reaction, which is called acute haemolysis. It also ensures repeated blood transfusions are as safe as possible for the recipient. What I am after is canine and feline blood donors. Ideally we need dogs in good health, aged between one and eight years old, weighing over 25kg and, if female, spayed and having never had a litter. The same is ideal for cats, though they should weigh over 4kg, not 25kg! If you are considering this, please call us at the surgery on 01935 816228 and we can discuss the logistics and financials – all positive for the donor – in more detail. We even offer a cup of tea and a biscuit after every donation! | 65

Animal Care


Dr Amber Whitmarsh BSc(Hons) BVSc CertAVP MRCVS, The Kingston Veterinary Group


n the last few years, equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) has become more commonly diagnosed with the greater accessibility of video gastroscopy and a more detailed understanding of the disease. Until recently it was thought that gastric ulcers only affected racehorses, but it has been demonstrated that any type of horse can be at risk. EGUS is a serious and common condition. It can have a profound impact on a horse’s condition and performance and its incidence in foals can be life-threatening. EGUS describes the erosion of the horse’s stomach lining, caused by exposure to the acid produced by the stomach. Aggressive factors such as gastric acid and digestive enzymes in the gastric juice can overpower the protective elements in the stomach lining, leading to ulcers. The factors that have been attributed to the development of EGUS include: A) R  educed time that a domesticated horse spends eating, which in turn decreases the saliva production – problematic, as saliva helps to buffer stomach acid B) R  educed amount of forage in the diet and restricted feed intake C) E  xercise can reduce blood flow to the stomach and cause the stomach contents to splash around the lining The clinical signs of a horse with EGUS are often subtle and variable and, because of this, it can be a challenging condition to diagnose. Although the signs can vary greatly between individuals, the more common symptoms include: • Poor performance or attitude/behavioural changes – difficult to ride, bucking, refusing jumps • Discomfort on girth tightening • Resentment of grooming • Poor body condition • Dull coat • Poor appetite • Weight loss

66 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

• Recurrent colic • Excessive lying down • Stretching to urinate Gastroscopy is the only method currently available for a definitive diagnosis and it is a useful tool to monitor the syndrome during treatment. Patients should be starved the night before the procedure to ensure optimum visualisation during gastroscopy. The horse is sedated and a video scope is inserted into the oesophagus, stomach and upper portion of the duodenum; the lining of these structures can then be visualised. Any ulcers identified in the squamous portion of the stomach can be graded on a scoring system of one to four, according to their severity. Ulcers in the glandular region are described in terms of their location, appearance and severity. Once diagnosed, ulcers can be easily treated with a daily oral paste called omeprazole, which is very effective in the vast majority of cases. Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor that suppresses gastric acid secretion. Its use in these cases often results in a near-immediate improvement in symptoms. Preventative methods, such as reducing stress, allowing a constant supply of forage, reducing the amount of feed high in carbohydrates, offering a handful of chaff before exercise and placing forage in different areas of the stable to mimic natural grazing, will also help to reduce their occurrence. The combination of management changes, omeprazole administration and, in some cases, the use of supplements that promote gastrointestinal health, usually leads to successful resolution of EGUS. Following treatment, most horses show a vast improvement in performance, better temperament with decreased bucking, being more placid under the saddle, less aggression, a better appetite and improved condition. | 67

CYCLE SHERBORNE Peter Henshaw, Dorset Cyclists Network Mike Riley, Rileys Cycles


y savings account interest rate has just been cut (again) to a miniscule 0.1%. It’s not a lot, is it? In fact, I think it won’t be long before the financial institution involved (ex-building society, now just another bank) starts charging me for the privilege of keeping hold of my money, using it to lend to other people and charging them handsomely in turn. I’d be better off putting it in premium bonds or stuffing it under the mattress. Now imagine there’s an investment that brings a return of £5.50 for every £1 put in. That’s more like it and, according to the government’s own figures, this is the typical return on investment in cycle infrastructure. Of course, that doesn’t mean a hard cash return of over 500% – it’s the social benefit of cycling, which is harder to quantify but real nonetheless. Some of it does add up to real money, but dispersed across society rather than filling the bank account of whoever made the initial investment. If more people cycle, their general health improves, which reduces the burden on the NHS and means fewer working days lost through illness. If you are middleaged, and plenty of us are, regular cycling will give you the fitness of someone 10 years younger – and I for one wouldn’t mind feeling 44 again. So it’s true, you can roll back the years! Being fitter also brings a general feeling of wellbeing and I do think it’s true that exercise improves one’s mental health. It’s not just about heart, lungs and muscles, as cycling – like all exercise – helps to reduce stress levels and work off frustration. More cycling means less traffic congestion, which costs money in wasted time (not to mention the cause of much of that frustration) – people are late for work, they miss appointments. All of this is dismissed with a shrug, as if ‘traffic’ is a fact of life that cannot be altered. Well, we can make a start. It goes without saying that less congestion means that local pollution takes a hit as well, giving a further boost to those health benefits. Sherborne’s local shops could do well out of this too. Cycling to work or into town every day (or, come to that, 68 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

walking in) makes it so much easier to pick up a bit of shopping each day at J & M Parsons or Oxfords bakery or The Pear Tree deli, or any of the small shops we’re lucky enough still to have in Sherborne. Driving almost dictates the weekly trip to Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Waitrose and spending a stressed 30 minutes or so trying to remember everything you’ll need to feed a family for seven days. So how can we make all this happen? You may not have heard of Cycling UK, but it used to be called the CTC, or Cyclists’ Touring Club. In the old days it was a bit like the old-school RAC and was associated with earnest chaps called Ralph or Tom who wore tweeds and took their cycle touring seriously. Well, if that was ever true it certainly isn’t now, as Cycling UK has become a campaigning organisation, working to get cycling into the mainstream. One of their many initiatives is Space for Cycling, which seeks to influence the people who actually make the decisions about our cycle lanes, routes and parking – our local councillors. To encourage them, Cycling UK has a Space for Cycling toolkit on its website, with examples of what councils can do – case studies, best practice, how to combat rat runs (yes, like Acreman Street and Blackberry Lane). Individual councillors can sign up their support for Space for Cycling – so take a bow Peter Hall, Susan Jefferies and Andy Canning of Dorset County Council, all of whom have done just that. However, 42 DCC councillors haven’t signed up – by contrast with Somerset, where over a third of county councillors have done the right thing. So let’s get onto them. They need to go to to sign up and encourage their colleagues to do the same. Let’s do it – we have nothing to lose but our jams. Image: Courtesy of Cycling UK

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On Foot

PUDDLETOWN FOREST Nicky King, The Eastbury Hotel and The Three Wishes


was listening to BBC Radio 4 on Sunday and they had a wonderful section called slow radio, when they played some lovely ‘country sounds,’ finishing with the sound of a drop of water landing in a puddle. The walk that I did in Puddletown Forest shortly after hearing this should have been a walk full of birdsong, rain dripping and general stillness – but sadly much of the forest is blighted by the sound of the A35. It did make me wonder why more roads aren’t surfaced with quiet tarmac, which seems to deaden most traffic noise. This was something that my uncle fought long and hard for when he was living near the M3 and which has now been used to resurface junction two to three to great effect. The walk took us through some very beautiful forest – very thick in places, but with some stunning moss and ferns, a variety of trees and a wonderful sandy surface underfoot. I was walking in the forest with Tracy and her dog Tilly, aiming in the rough direction of Hardy’s Cottage, when we noticed that Tilly was missing – not unheard of, as I think I mentioned before. After calling and waiting patiently for her for 15 minutes, we thought we would go off in search. One

70 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

of us went one way up a bridle path and the other up a footpath, both questioning fellow dog walkers and cyclists as we went. It seemed that everyone had seen her in various locations in the forest except us! Being a timid dog, she hot-footed away in the opposite direction whenever approached. Calling her proved fruitless, as not only was the A35 deadening the sound of wildlife but also Tracy’s voice. So we decided that one of us – me – should wait at the beginning of the walk, whilst Tracy headed off to the latest Tilly sighting spot. Sure enough, she did return to the beginning of the walk some two hours later and was only tempted out of the undergrowth by Otto, leaving us chilled to the bone, having not seen much of the forest, and her utterly exhausted! Definitely a walk to return to, perhaps when the rhododendrons are out, as the forest seems full of them. Bookings are now being taken for Mother’s Day at both the Eastbury Hotel and the Three Wishes. Call 01935 813131 or 01935 817777 to make your reservation,

NATURAL HEALTH CLINIC AND THERAPY ROOMS Senior Pet Clinics with free consultation Our trained nurses offer wellness clinics for all senior pets over 10 year’s old (giant dog breeds over 7 years) Full health check, blood pressure monitoring, weight, ECG and blood tests if necessary Please call Mel (Head Nurse) for further information and to make an appointment Sherborne Surgery Swan House Lower Acreman Street 01935 816228

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Body & Mind


Robin Hague, Robin James Salon & Spa

The South West’s top hairdresser, salon-and-spa owner is on hand with his team to answer your questions about haircare and life in general AR: Why do I need to condition my hair? Does it really make a difference? Christine, head stylist: Each hair is covered in tiny cells which look a bit like fish scales. Damage causes these to stand out which makes the hair look dull, rough and out of condition. Conditioners work by smoothing down these scales so your hair looks smooth and shiny again. They’re also great at reducing static and all hair types – even greasy hair – benefit from conditioning. If you do suffer from a greasy thatch, though, use less and concentrate on working it through the ends, which tend to be drier. If you don’t use conditioner because it makes your hair difficult to manage, heavy or floppy it’s because you’ve chosen the wrong one. A properly prescribed good quality conditioner will help you to achieve better results with shine, volume and styling.

SM: Hair removal - what is the difference between hot and strip wax? Leighann, spa manager: Hot wax is spread thickly onto the skin and allowed to dry slightly before it’s gently peeled away. The benefits include fewer in-grown hairs, less breakage and therefore longer re-growth periods. The wax also promotes skin hydration and is highly recommended for sensitive areas. Strip wax is recommended for thicker/less sensitive skin, for example legs, arms, back, chest and shoulders. A thin layer of wax is applied to the skin and is then removed using a paper strip. We also offer organic strip wax.

RS: Will colouring my hair damage it? Ollie, technician: Damage is more likely to occur when you are lifting the colour to be lighter. The more you want to lift the colour the higher volume of hydrogen peroxide is required and if not managed by someone who knows what they are doing, this can risk the condition of your hair. The peroxide is necessary to open up the cuticle layer of the hair to allow the colour molecules to penetrate the cortex depositing the colour. If you use the wrong level of peroxide or if you constantly change your hair colour (over-processing), this is what will cause the damage to your hair.

GN: With the inevitable onset of grey my hair is also becoming quite dry and brittle. I don’t mind going grey but what can I do to maintain my hair’s condition? Christine, head stylist: Contrary to popular belief, grey hair is not coarser – it is usually finer, as everyone’s hair becomes finer with age. The reason why grey hair seems coarser is because oil glands produce less sebum when you’re older, which results in drier and more roughly-textured hair. As the hair is finer we tend to use more styling aids to create body and volume. These can further dry out the hair if they are poor quality or used incorrectly. However, reversing this damage can be achieved by using scalp and hair masks. They should be used on a weekly basis to start with and then twice a month. It’s also advantageous to use a protective styling aid when blow-drying.

Send your questions for Robin to 72 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

Lindsay Punch, personal stylist


hen a new shopping season arrives, also comes the urge to spend money on refreshing our wardrobes or perhaps experiment with a new look. Before you venture out or online, there are some good shopping habits you can adopt that will save you from overspending or buying the wrong thing, ultimately making you a smarter shopper. At the beginning of the season set a budget for the next six months, which includes sale time! You’ll see how much you have each month and will focus on only purchasing pieces you really love. Spring-clean your wardrobe and note what you have before shopping. If you have five black tops hanging in your wardrobe you probably do not need another one. Sometimes you buy something you love but don’t know what to wear it with. It could be you’re missing key elements that tie your wardrobe together. When it comes to my own, I like to create a capsule wardrobe that can be layered to cover all seasons – a jersey blazer, a leather jacket, a crisp shirt (from White Feather), and chic knitwear (from The Circus). Storing these pieces properly will keep them alive for longer too! Some women like to separate their ‘work’ and ‘casual’ wardrobes – but this can sometimes be costly. If your office is very corporate and you are required to wear suits or you have a uniform, then that’s understandable. However, when you cater for two different wardrobes you’ll be spending twice as much money, taking up twice as much space and, if you find shopping stressful or overwhelming, you probably don’t like either of your

Image: Katharine Davies


wardrobes! Think about blouses you can pair with skirts or tailored trousers for work that can then be teamed with jeans on your days off. A navy blazer is good enough for the office and for layering with knitwear, shirts and T-shirts. Shop savvy by buying special pieces at the beginning of the season. You may think it is a little early to buy your outfits for your summer social calendar, but if you are heading off to Ascot, Henley Royal Regatta, Wimbledon, Glyndebourne or the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and are planning to buy off the peg, the best frocks sell out quickly. Alternatively, having a dress tailored for you will leave you looking polished and feeling confident – though you won’t want to leave it until the last minute. You have the opportunity to fulfil your own special-occasion brief here in Sherborne, with off-the-peg outlet prices in Retail Therapy, pre-loved designers at Clare’s Dress Agency and both ready-towear or perfectly fitted bespoke from Perri Ashby. Knowing what silhouettes suit your shape can save you hours in the changing room and wasted money on unworn items, as well as helping you understand why the dress you’ve tried on and taken off 10 times isn’t right. Once you discover your shape, experiment with on-trend fabrics and colours to update your look each season. Putting these shopping strategies into practice will help you spend your money wisely, all whilst looking fabulous! | 73

Body & Mind

SMOOTH OPERATOR Sarah Hitch, The Sanctuary Beauty Rooms


righter. Clearer. Stronger. Healthier. The benefits of exfoliation are not only multiple, they’re immediate. Exfoliation lifts dulling, discoloured cells for skin that looks more radiant, more toned, less aged and less congested. It’s a quick step that fits in right after you cleanse – or can even be combined with cleansing. Exfoliation isn’t a new concept, but it’s an important step that is often skipped. Cell renewal slows down by 10 days for every decade you reach, so in your 60s the visible skin cells are two months old. No wonder you feel it looks dull and your moisturiser doesn’t seem to be performing as well as it did. For the active ingredients in your skincare products to be effective and for easier and longer-lasting make-up, regular exfoliation is a must-do. Skin exfoliators fall into either physical or chemical exfoliators – with professional exfoliants usually containing the benefits of both. Physical exfoliators contain particles (either natural or man-made) that physically abrade the surface of your skin, polishing it. A ‘mushy pea’-sized amount is usually loosened between your fingertips with a little water and then applied to a clean face. Gently polish your face and neck in circular motions for two minutes, adding a little more water if needed, and then rinse away. Over the last year, several countries have banned the manufacture and/or sale of rinse-off cosmetics containing micro-beads and, from December 2017, micro-beads will be banned in the UK too. Micro-beads are solid plastic particles less than a few millimetres in diameter that can’t be filtered out during sewerage processing and therefore end up in ocean sediment.

74 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

As marine life can’t distinguish between micro-beads and food, this plastic both impacts negatively on marine species and ends up in the food chain. Many professional brands have ceased the manufacturing of products containing plastic beads and are replacing them with biodegradable exfoliants. Check the packaging or seek advice from your skin therapist to confirm that the product you use is eco-friendly. Chemical exfoliants help to resurface the skin by loosening the ‘glue’ that holds the surface skin cells together. They deliver fast results, promoting hydration, boosting collagen synthesis and reducing visible skin damage from pigmentation and ageing. Ingredients to look out for include the newest formulations of Retinol (pure vitamin A), which have encapsulated technology. These formulations are more userfriendly and some are even customisable, allowing you to gain the super ageing reversal benefits without uncomfortable sensitivity issues. Lactic and salicylic acids also stimulate cell renewal from the base layer of your epidermis to release new cells, which appear brighter and more hydrated. As old cells are shed and fresh new cells emerge, this can help in the fading of pigmentation and damage. How often you should exfoliate depends on the product you’re using, your skin type and individual skin concerns. But current research has determined that more frequent exfoliation with gentler products gives better results than less frequent, ‘rough’ exfoliation.

STRONGER TOGETHER Natasha Williams, fitness manager, Oxley Sports Centre


nternational Women’s Day is on 8th March 2017. This day is a celebration of the achievements of women throughout our history. The day has been celebrated for over a century and is often observed in both global and local events. Dorset, in fact, has its own Women’s Week, held this year 4th-11th March. This event has made me reflect on the ways in which women can support each other through sport and activity. The This Girl Can media campaign has highlighted the growing numbers of women and girls empowered to move more and try new things. Many women are afraid to have a go, or do something different. This is where finding a friend to work out with or having a system of support in place can really help push you to reach goals. Working out in a group is more likely to keep you coming back and therefore you’ll see results sooner. Trying group exercise or swimming with a friend could be the first step to getting you off the couch. Be brave together. Did you play netball at school? Do you fancy taking up it up again but don’t want it to become too competitive? Walking Netball is the new group exercise funded by England Netball for all those who want to try out netball again at a slower pace, regain their previous skills or learn new ones. Sessions are designed for ladies to gain more confidence and fitness in a gentle way – although walking is a skill in itself ! Those who have tried it say that actually they are better at this form of netball than they were back in the day. Although it sounds a little more sedate than the netball we played aged 14,

this does not remove the competitiveness. It might start as just fun, but you’ll probably find that old feeling of wanting to win rises up and takes a hold! Of course, it’s not just about the young folks! Groups such as Oxley Sports Centre’s Loose Women are great opportunities for a social get-together for older ladies, as well doing something active. Having started from a government initiative in 2010 to get more women swimming and participating in sports, Loose Women has grown into its own social and friendly group of women. The group meets every Thursday morning and does a variety of activities which have included zumba, badminton, indoor cycling, water polo, rounders, Powerhoop, Walking Netball and many more. Heather Crewe, who started the group, said, “It’s wonderful watching those who have been quite reserved begin to blossom and make new friends within the group. So much so, that they also now meet outside the Thursday morning session.” The ladies welcome all newcomers and you don’t even need to be a member, just up for a bit of social exercise and cuppa afterwards! It’s all good fun and the only serious matter is who is in charge of bringing the cake each week! More details on Walking Netball and Loose Women can be found at No need to be a member, bookings for both can be made by calling 01935 818270 @ThisGirlCanUK | 75

Body & Mind



Dawn Hart & Sarah Hickling, life and business coaches, The Sherborne Rooms

ake a cup of tea, grab a pen, get comfortable and give yourself a few quiet moments to think…Imagine you have the next year off to explore, enjoy and make the most of your time. A mysterious benefactor has paid your mortgage and all financial commitments. Those close to you are well cared for and in complete support of your venture. So what will you do?

What have you always wanted to learn more about? What adventures have you always craved? What project are you itching to do? What business have you always wanted to start? What issues in society might you address? Describe in as much detail as you like what you would do with the gift of one year of freedom. Maybe there is just one thing that has been hanging around in the shadows of your mind for years, or you may still be adding to your list tonight. Now for another question: What’s stopping you?

It may be time, money or fear of changing the life you have. Now take a look at these statements and see if any are familiar to you: • Things are OK, I’m not falling apart or in crisis but I’m not satisfied • I have a ‘good’ job and the pay is fine, so why am I getting the ‘Sunday night blues’? • I love my family/friends/partner/children but I need to do something for me • I don’t feel valued, I’m not using all my skills or potential at work/in my spare time • I feel restless, like I should be somewhere else, doing something else 76 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

• I enjoy my job and don’t want to change it, but I feel guilty I don’t have enough time or energy for my family • I do appreciate what I have, but I’m just not happy – how do I admit this when so many people are struggling? Big changes in our home and work life are often driven by other people or circumstances. This may be a positive change like a year of freedom – sorry, but we can’t offer that to you! – or something not so positive. The point is, you get by and make it work if you have to. Now just consider for a moment making a big change, not because you HAVE to, but because you WANT to. We are life coaches, so we will not give you the answers – but we will ask the right questions to help you discover what you want and what’s holding you back. If you already know that, we can help you develop a plan and get started. If you already have the plan but have never put it into action, we do that part too. You have to be ready for the change. We are not counsellors, therapists or mentors. Our area of expertise is focusing on the future and getting you moving through a structured set of steps that we develop together, in partnership. We will listen, challenge and stretch you, motivate and support you, but the desire to make it happen? Well, that’s down to you. If you want to stop writing lists and start taking action, contact Dawn or Sarah for a free, no obligation consultation or just a chat about what’s going on in your life at the moment. The example exercise used here is based on Screw Work, Let’s Play: How to Do What You Love and Get Paid for it by John Williams (Pearsons Business 2010)


"Leave the house confident in the colours and shapes that make you, you"


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Jill Cook BACP, Senior Accredited Counsellor, The London Road Clinic

ounselling is a word we hear bandied around quite often these days and it can have many interpretations. When I am asked what I do for a living, sometimes my reply is greeted with the question, “Parish Council or Dorset County Council?” As I try to explain what I do, there can be confusion over the difference between therapeutic counselling and advice and information-giving, such as legal or debt counselling. My role as a therapeutic counsellor is to provide a safe, confidential place in which an individual feels able

to explore whatever it is that is troubling them. That exploration can be a challenging experience, especially if you are willing to talk about and face up to thoughts and behaviours that you have upheld for some time. It can be painful to allow yourself to experience emotions which may have been bottled up for a while, but liberating to realise that there are different ways of managing difficulties which lead to a less stressful existence. Making the choice to contact a counsellor can be a big decision. Our culture has not, historically, been one > | 77

Body & Mind in which we have shared thoughts and feelings freely, so to make an appointment with a stranger and sit for an hour being the centre of attention can feel very strange. My aim, right from the first telephone call or email connection, is to make the process as warm and welcoming as possible. I aim to be as genuine as I can be, not making judgements about you and trying to get as close as possible to understanding what it is like to be in your world, with its difficulties and joys. It is from this relationship that the change happens. I might challenge some things that you say, trying to understand what is going on for you and why you find them hard to manage. We may then explore how you might do things differently. The number of sessions individuals need can vary. Some people come once and decide it’s not for them. Others may have a few sessions and feel that they have

got what they need to manage the current situation. Still others may have sessions over a long period of time, perhaps addressing long-held emotions or taking support during a difficult period in their life. Each person who comes though my door is different. We all react differently to similar situations – I need to be aware of that and not have expectations of how an individual might behave. During my counselling career I have worked with people from five years old to 89 years. Whatever your age, counselling can provide a relationship within which you have the opportunity to make changes in your life. It can be a place where you learn more about yourself and how you relate to others, so that you can live in a more satisfying way.



Dr Tim Robinson MB BS MSc MRCGP DRCOG MFHom, GP and complementary practitioner, Glencairn House

ementia is the insidious degenerative process affecting the brain that results in memory loss, personality changes and decline in intellectual ability. Its growing prevalence is due to the increase in the aged population – we are all living longer! The commonest types of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for 60-70% of cases, and multiinfarct or vascular dementia, which occurs as a result of ‘mini-strokes’ in the brain. Because of its growing prevalence, many people are trying hard to prevent or reduce the risk of developing dementia. The first step is to address the recognised risk factors – namely smoking, raised blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. 78 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

Then there are a number of nutritional and dietary aspects that should be considered seriously. Intake of omega-3 fish oils that contain DHA is important, as studies have shown that the risk of Alzheimer’s is halved in people who have high levels of DHA. Eat two portions of oily fish each week, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna, or take supplements. Monounsaturated oils in avocado, extra-virgin olive oil and nuts are also essential for efficient brain function. Studies have shown supplementation with vitamins A, C and E, with their antioxidant properties, have a reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s. Yet further studies have shown vitamin B complex supplementation helps >








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Body & Mind preserve brain function in the long-term. Higher levels of homocysteine have been found in patients with Alzheimer’s and vitamin B complex reduces these levels. The herbal medicine ginkgo boosts circulation and reduces inflammation. There are studies that demonstrate improved brain cognitive function as a result of these properties. The new kid on the block is curcumin, derived from the Indian spice turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory properties. This has been thought to help prevent dementia, as there is a low incidence of Alzheimer’s in India. From this statistic the theory is that turmeric is dementia-protective. There are not any convincing studies to support this theory as yet, but keep eating curry for its taste as well as possible health benefits! Besides nutritional and herbal measures, mindbody strategies are worth considering to help prevent dementia. Mental stimulation that exercises the grey matter is very important to consider, so why not get into games such as scrabble, chess or mahjong? How about

some arithmetic gymnastics with sudoku or wordfinding ‘hide and seek’ with crosswords at all levels – not just The Times’s! Social interaction is also said to be beneficial. Joining the local bridge circle or book club would achieve both brain exercise and social interaction. Besides the brain gym, don’t overlook the body gym! Exercise is another dementia preventer. Over-65-yearolds who undertake regular exercise are thought to have half the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. It is also excellent for helping combat depression that can occur in those who have become aware of their failing memory. Joining the local ramblers’ group might be the ultimate dementia preventer – map reading for the grey cells, exertion for the blood vessels and chatter between your fellow ramblers for the social mix. You could even pack a picnic lunch of sardine sandwiches, an apple and nut bar for the full nutritional brain protector option!

Keeping you mobile

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We stock the largest range of mobility products and furniture in the area

Tel 01935 389391 Visit our showroom Unit 5, South Western Business Park, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3PS (Access via the station car park)

80 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

The Old Vicarage Leigh, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 6HL

01935 873033

We are delighted to announce that following our recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission we have been awarded a rating of Outstanding. This means we are in the top 1% of care homes in England.

The Old Vicarage CQC overall rating

28 January 2016

Set in its own secluded, beautifully landscaped gardens, woodland and meadow, and with stunning views overlooking the Dorset countryside, it’s hard to resist the charms of the Old Vicarage. As soon as you step through the front door of this charming country house, you’ll discover an oasis of comfort, warmth, calm and relaxation. Our highly trained staff ensure that everything - from the mouth-watering food and drink and the stylishly cosy bedrooms to the wide range of activities - will make the Old Vicarage truly a home from home. We have been recognised by the Cinnamon Trust as being one of the best pet friendly care homes in the country.

To arrange a visit please call on 01935 873033 or email

Do you want to get more from your retirement? An Equity Release mortgage may be an option for you. Equity Release can provide a way to release some of the money tied up in your home if you are a homeowner aged 55 or over. You may wish to: • Repay debts or outstanding mortgages • Boost your income • Help your family • Make improvements to your home Equity release enables you to use some of the money tied up in your home to provide a tax free lump sum, to spend on almost anything you wish. If you would like to understand the options in more detail please contact our consultants for a no cost initial meeting without obligation. At the meeting we would explain and agree the fees that would apply if you wish to progress the enquiry. Equity release may not be right for everyone. It may affect your entitlement to state benefits and will reduce the value of your estate.

Our Sherborne advisers Johanna Kemp CeMAP

Equity Release, Mortgages, Life Assurance M: 07813 785355 E:

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WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU AS A LANDLORD? Anita Light & Paul Gammage, Ewemove Sherborne


hilst preparing an updated landlord pack to send out to a prospective client, it really got us thinking about how much has changed in the last couple of years. The raft of new legislation, the Chancellor’s continued mission to erode landlords’ net income and continued uncertainty with Brexit and the newly inaugurated President Trump. So what are the most important things to you as a landlord and how do you choose a lettings agent to best deliver that? Having been landlords in the past, we would assume the following to be a good starting point. Maximise your yield

Letting agents’ fees can be a bit like budget airlines. You add all the extras on to the headline price and, before you know it, you could have flown on the top deck. Make sure you fully understand what’s included in the ‘full management’ tariff and what you may have to pay additional fees for. For example, think about set-up fees, inventory fees, fees to lodge deposits and estimates for repairs, to name a few. Does the full management fee include a charge for finding a tenant? If the tenant leaves in the first 12 months of the full management agreement, will your agent find you a new one without charge? These could be costly additional fees and, of course, if a tenant leaves then you may well be at risk of a void period, leaving you even further out of pocket. What’s the solution? Make sure your agent gets you a quality tenant in the first place and not just the first person to view with a pulse and deposit. Have your property well looked after

Make sure your agent gets you the best-fit tenant they

84 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

can find by having a robust tenant vetting process. Remember, no tenant is better than a bad tenant. As you may be aware, the government is setting up a working party to look at the abolition of tenant fees. It stands to reason that letting agents that already do not charge tenants’ fees to apply will get more applicants, thus enabling them to cherry-pick the very best-fit tenant from a larger pool. It goes without saying that all agents should credit-check the tenant and the guarantor and also seek references. Does your agent actually go and visit the prospective new resident of your home in their current home? We call this the sniff test. Actually seeing how someone lives in their current home is the best indication of how they will treat their new home. Peace of mind

Now we’ve maximised our yield and got a good tenant, wouldn’t it be great if we just had an easy life? Get your agent to talk you through their pack. Fully satisfy yourself that they will manage all statutory compliance of letting your home to fully protect all parties. Make sure your agent is accessible to you and your tenant. Make sure you get real-time updates from your agent in case there is an issue. Make sure your agent has trusted contractors – yours, if preferred – to step in and resolve any issues quickly. It’s a great idea to have pre-agreed threshold limits, enabling relatively simple issues to be resolved without having to bother you and, for more complex and costly issues, a process whereby multiple estimates can be prepared for you free of charge.

Hi, we’re Anita and Paul Branch Directors of EweMove Sherborne Your Local Property Expert

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Anita and Paul run an estate agents like none you will have ever experienced before and believe me I have tried quite a few over the years! There is total transparency and honesty at all times combined with expert communication – I knew what was going on every single day and as things happened, not when someone decided I needed a weekly update I had more viewings in 6 weeks than I had in the previous 6 months but from people who actually were interested in my property not just viewings for the sake of viewings. Equally my purchaser was over the moon and the completion went smoothly and without a hitch Why put up with the normal sloppiness of high street estate agents, save your time an awful lot of hassle, time and money and go to the best in the area – that’s exactly what I will be doing next time.

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Andrew Fort B.A. (Econ.) CFPcm Chartered MCSI APFS, Certified and Chartered Financial Planner, Fort Financial Planning

Predictions about future price movements come in all shapes and sizes, but most of them tempt the investor into playing a game of outguessing the market.


he beginning of each calendar year brings with it a chance to look forward to the year ahead. Investors are bombarded with predictions about what the future – and specifically the next year – may hold for their portfolios. These outlooks are typically accompanied by recommended investment strategies and actions that are aimed at trying to avoid the next crisis or missing out on the next ‘great’ opportunity. When faced with recommendations of this sort, it would be wise to remember that we believe investors are better served by sticking with a long-term plan rather than changing course in reaction to predictions and short-term calls. PREDICTIONS AND PORTFOLIOS

One doesn’t typically see a forecast that says, “Capital markets are expected to continue to function normally,” or “It’s unclear how unknown future events will impact prices.” Predictions about future price movements come in all shapes and sizes, but most of them tempt the investor into playing a game of outguessing the market. Examples of predictions like this might include, “We don’t like energy stocks in 2017,” or “We expect the interest rate environment to remain challenging in the coming year.” Bold predictions may pique interest, but their usefulness in application to an investment plan is less clear. The publisher of Forbes magazine, once remarked, “You make more money selling advice than following it. It’s one of the things we count on in the magazine business – along with the short memory of our readers.” Definitive recommendations attempting to identify value not currently reflected in market prices may provide investors with a sense of confidence about the future, but how accurate do these predictions have to be in order to be useful? Consider a simple example where an investor hears a prediction that equities are currently priced ‘too high’ and now is a better time to hold cash. If we say that the prediction has a 50% chance of being accurate (equities underperform cash over some period of time), does that 88 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

mean the investor has a 50% chance of being better off ? What is crucial to remember is that any market-timing decision is actually two decisions. If the investor decides to change their allocation – selling equities in this case – they have decided to get out of the market, but they also must determine when to get back in. If we assign a 50% probability of the investor getting each decision right, that would give them a one-in-four chance of being better off overall. We can increase the chances of the investor being right to 70% for each decision, but the odds of them being better off are still shy of 50%. Still no better than a coin flip. You can apply this same logic to decisions within asset classes, such as whether currently to be invested in stocks only in your home market versus those abroad. The lesson here is that the only guarantee for investors making market-timing decisions is they will incur additional transactions costs due to frequent buying and selling. The track record of professional money managers attempting to profit from mispricing also suggests that making frequent investment changes based on market calls may be more harmful than helpful. Research highlights how managers have fared against a comparative S&P benchmark. The results illustrate that the majority of managers have underperformed over both short and longer horizons. Rather than relying on forecasts that attempt to outguess market prices, investors can instead rely on the power of the market as an effective informationprocessing machine to help structure their investment portfolios. Financial markets involve the interaction of millions of willing buyers and sellers. The prices they set provide positive expected returns every day. While realised returns may end up different from expected returns, any such difference is unknown and unpredictable in advance. Over a long-term horizon, the case for trusting in markets and for discipline in being able to stay invested is clear.

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Earning enough on your investments? We offer experienced, personalised investment management for private clients We are experts at managing income portfolios We keep the costs of owning financial assets down to enhance returns We offer our clients superior financial planning Contact us today for your free portfolio review and see how we can help you improve returns Call Jeremy Le Sueur on 01935 813380 or email

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21 The Old Yarn Mills, Westbury, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3RQ 4 Shires Asset Management is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The value of investments and the income you get from them may fall as well as rise, and there is no certainty that you will get back the amount of your original investment.

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… and there are many! So here are a few, in no particular order. BT/Yahoo Mail

A bit of a history lesson first. In the beginning there was BT as an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and most of us had no choice or insufficient knowledge but to sign up with them. As a result, gazillions of people ended up with a BT email address and they have stuck with them ever since. However, BT didn’t provide the email service themselves – they bought into an existing system run by Yahoo. It wasn’t a happy marriage and Yahoo never updated their systems or security until 2013. In 2013 Yahoo got hacked and millions of passwords were stolen. They said nothing and whether or not BT 94 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

knew about it too, they said nothing either! We, the industry, became aware that all was not right as so many BT/Yahoo customers would come to us complaining about having been hacked. Still BT buried their heads in the sand. Not until 2015 did BT give notice to Yahoo and then start to transfer all their clients to a new BT mail system – but still nothing was said about the password theft. Finally, in 2016, Yahoo admitted the breach and BT told all their customers to change their passwords. All the same, millions haven’t – and, if you have an old BT account and haven’t changed your password in the last 12 months, you should do so now. As for BT –

too little, too late. As for Yahoo… words fail me! Cold calling and telephone scams

This is a type of telephone fraud, where scammers will call you claiming to be from the help desk of a well-known IT firm, such as Microsoft or Windows, a well-known bank or even BT. They’ll tell you that your computer has a virus and will try to charge you to upload ‘anti-virus software’. This turns out to be spyware, which is used to get hold of your personal details. Never respond to an unsolicited phone call from someone claiming that your computer has a virus. If you receive a call like this, hang up straight away. Never give them remote access to your computer, don’t give them any passwords and never pay them any money! Website pop-up of doom!

So there you are, browsing away, looking for some winter sun or a cheap electricity deal, and up comes a window (in red!) saying words to the effect that your computer is badly infected and will blow up if you don’t call the number on the screen. Don’t call the number! Don’t click anything else – just shut your computer down and restart it. With

any luck, it’ll be fine afterwards. The malicious messages are embedded into on-screen adverts and are completely random – you were just unlucky to catch one. Email fraud (phishing)

Yes, they are still about, from any number of ‘genuine’ sources such as banks, building societies, couriers and large online retailers including Amazon and John Lewis. You get an email with an attachment that you were not expecting, but that is perfectly plausible. Always be suspicious! Similarly, an email with a link to ‘view’ a document or invoice? Just don’t. This is just spam email and you should delete it. It doesn’t mean that your email has been hacked, simply that your email address has been harvested by some virus on somebody else’s computer and you can expect to get more in the future. Exercise caution! As always, if in doubt, DON’T – but you know where to come if you need help. Coming up next month… Microsoft Office, Open Office, WPS Office, LibreOffice and Google Apps

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To advertise please contact | 01935 814803 | 95

FOLK TALES with Colin Lambert


he governor of the Digby Tap Social Club describes it as “many clubs within one.” Being in charge of such a club requires quite some person – step up, Olly Wilson. Here are some of the scenarios played out during Olly’s week. Managing the rugby club drinkers alone demands skills best acquired by playing fullback for Sherborne Colts, until forced to retire through concussion. Those skills are easily transferred to managing the social side of Sherborne Hockey 1st team (Olly is their goalkeeper) – as the Tap, as it’s affectionately known, is their social club. The women’s hockey, soccer and cricket teams descend – and we all know what happens when boys meet girls! Friday is for ladies who lunch – with their men, of course. Dressed in tweeds and Barbour jackets, this is the place to be seen. Sells out every week, so go early. (A few bookings are available.) Friday is also 'Poets Day' and has a chilled feel… allegedly. Late afternoon and Joe takes his customary seat at the bar to entertain with silly jokes. By early evening, the odd scruffy farmer pops in for a beer with his pinstriped lawyer to discuss the farm’s latest £5m acquisition. Saturday and Six Nations’ rugby… Sunday is rest and relaxation, but not for Olly. Read on. East Sheen, Richmond-Upon-Thames provided Olly with a home and an early education – which mostly involved just playing any sport. Aged 13 he arrived at Sherborne School, doing almost no work but having 96 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

fun in the rugby and hockey teams. Appendicitis during A-level week made matters worse. As a result, Olly left school with a single A-level, in maths. But hang on; only bright kids get maths A level, don’t they? He wasted no time in catching up on education though, and obtained a degree in business studies from Coventry University. He still had time for sport, making the first hockey team and gaining an orange belt at judo. (Customers take note.) The tug of the South West was strong, however, and his love of Sherborne resurfaced. So in 1988, aged 24, he was back to set up his first business, Fetch & Carry Removals. It is still alive and kicking, with a weekly contract in London. Sitting in a café in Henstridge in 1992, moaning about the lack of a local parcel service in Dorset, led to his next venture. He set up a ‘Last Post’ franchise and, by 1995, the company had ten staff, six vans and a 17.5-tonne lorry. Just as two of his biggest clients went bust, Ollie made a smart move and liquidated his assets before the recession closed him too. Back to removals but wanting more, Olly took a job as barman at the Cross Keys whilst developing his operatic skills in Nabucco’s Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves by Verdi. His creativity was rewarded and he became stage manager for Dorset Operatic Society – but still he wanted more. In 1998 he saw a gap (in rugby speak), went through it and under the posts. His trophy was Sherborne’s only free house (in other words, not tied to a brewery) – the

*Middle-aged man in Lycra


one and only Digby Tap. The Tap wasn’t always a social club – originally it was a private dwelling and parts of it date to the 16th century. By 1749 it was the parish workhouse, shown on the 1802 plan of Sherborne. In 1869 the Digby Hotel was constructed and, in 1870, local builders Caines and Croad converted the house into “a ‘Tap’ on account of Digby Hotel.” Sherborne School took over the hotel in 1964, but the Tap stayed put and became the social club it is today. Olly’s day starts at 7am. Just coffee or a tea and away he goes – there’s cleaning to manage, orders, food, accounts and banking – all before opening time. That’s without mentioning the removal business, which takes him away to London every Thursday. Unsold lunch is his food of the day. The Tap has eight full-time staff, plus cleaners, and opens seven days a week from 11am to whenever. Clearly the mathematician is still at work. Olly times his departure

to perfection, as he has to make the start line for the Digby Etape Cycling Club – which he helped set up in 2016 – thirty-mile Sunday cycle. Yes, Olly is a MAMIL* twice a week – he’s planning Land’s End to John o’ Groats later this year. Pop in to the Tap to find out more. If you haven’t experienced the sheer magic of uncomfortable seats, the cheapest beer of anywhere I know, smelly farmers, ladies who lunch and the roof lifted off every time England scores a try, it’s time you dressed appropriately – depending upon your taste and the time of day – and paid a visit to Olly’s Wilson’s Digby Tap Social Club. I love it in all its forms – and a big thank you to Olly for sharing his Folk Tales with me. You can listen live as Colin and Olly continue their conversation Sunday 12th March on or 104.7fm in the Sherborne area. | 97

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Short Story

A GOLFING SAFARI Roy Leask, Sherborne Scribblers


igh on the Zambian plateau, an October sun blazed down on the pale brown savannah that simmered in the airless heat. A long dust cloud flowed from the back of the white Landcruiser as it churned up the red murram track to the golf club. In the relative comfort of the air-conditioned cab, Gerald grimaced at the emptiness of the club car park. Not a good sign. Perhaps it was closed for the dry season, he thought, as he made his way past the unkempt bougainvillea to the dilapidated clubhouse. The manager, lounging on the verandah with a cold beer to hand, greeted him with the enthusiasm of someone who didn’t want to be disturbed. A wateriness

100 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

in his eyes was evidence of more time spent at the bar than on the course. “Would you like a beer?” the manager inquired. Gerald shook his head. “Perhaps later. I’ve come to play… the full eighteen holes.” The manager sighed imperceptibly, looking upon Gerald as both an Englishman and a mad dog. “Very well. That will be a hundred kwacha for the round and fifty kwacha for Moshi, the caddy.” Gerald grimaced again. “I don’t need the services of a caddy. With my eleven handicap, I’m sure I can find my own way. I don’t expect to shoot much over par.” The manager shrugged. “I’m afraid we have to insist,

old boy. It’s for your own protection. The course borders the local game park.” Reluctantly, Gerald handed over the fees, adding that Moshi could fetch his clubs from the Landcruiser and meet him on the first tee. “Is that really necessary?” asked Gerald when Moshi appeared, carrying his clubs over one shoulder and an old 303 rifle over the other. Gerald selected a three-wood, whacked the ball down the middle of the fairway and recorded a comfortable par four. The second hole was more challenging, with an extended water hazard – the Zambezi river – left of the fairway. Gerald pulled his drive and the ball ended up a few feet from the water. Addressing the ball, Gerald was mid backswing when the shot rang out. Horrified, Gerald stared at Moshi, rifle to shoulder. “You could have killed me,” he shouted. “Better I kill the crocodile, bwana,” said Moshi with a smile. Gerald looked round. A few metres behind him lay twelve feet of inert reptile. They moved on without further incident until the fifth hole. A long par three with a broad acacia shadowing the green. Gerald’s five-iron landed on the apron. As he crouched down, sizing up the long putt, another shot rang out. This time, a snake fell out of the tree at Gerald’s feet. It was over

a metre long, green and grey, with the diameter of a forefinger. Gerald leapt back. ‘It’s dead,” said Moshi gently. “A boomslang, one of the most dangerous snakes in southern Africa.” Gerald wasn’t about to disagree and, rushing his putting, took three more strokes, finishing the hole one shot over par. As they reached halfway, the course turned away from the river. The tenth was a par five, almost 600 yards, with tall elephant grass flanking the fairway. In an effort to reach the green in two, Gerald hit an overambitious three-wood and carved the ball away left, into the deep stuff. Moshi looked worried. “Why not just play another ball?” Moshi suggested. “No, no, we’ll find it. The bush is not that thick,” said Gerald, marching off, seven-iron in hand. Miraculously Gerald found his ball on a termite mound. Gazing at the distant green, he took two or three practice swings. Big mistake. That’s what disturbed the lioness. Moshi, an ex-game ranger and tracker, glimpsed the swish of her tail. A deep, sonorous growl, filled with malicious intent, rose from the long grass. The lioness advanced on Gerald who stood, rooted with fear. He turned to Moshi. “For God’s sake, man, do something,” he implored. With a shake of his head, Moshi replied, “Sorry, bwana, but you don’t get a shot on this hole.”

LITERARY REVIEW Mark Greenstock, Sherborne Literary Society

How to Find Love in a Book Shop byVeronica Henry (Orion 2016) £12.99 (hardback) Exclusive reader offer price of £11.99 at Winstone’s Books


town without a bookshop is a town without a heart. Well, we in Sherborne know that – we adore our bookshops. But finding love there? Isn’t that the realm of chick lit? Why do a lot of men (my breed) regard this genre of the novel like something the cat brought in? Perhaps it’s something to do with the name – catchy it may be, but still it brings to mind something purchased at the airport and abandoned irreverently with curling pages

in a hotel room. When was the last time you called a woman a ‘chick,’ anyway? A more accurate title for the genre is ‘women’s contemporary fiction,’ which still sounds somewhat exclusive to me. Nonetheless, I have been reading two self-confessed examples of the category of late, one being Lulu Taylor’s The Snow Rose and the other Veronica Henry’s How to Find Love in a Bookshop, both published last year. > | 101

Literature By the time you read this, you will have missed – or may count yourself happy to have attended – this month’s ‘Words With Wine,’ a wonderful evening run by the Literary Society, when the first of these authors interviewed the other. Since The Snow Rose deserves a review to itself and since there may be a few signed copies of How to Find Love in a Bookshop still on sale at the top of Cheap Street, I’m going to say a few words about the latter. The novel tells the story of Emilia, who has returned to her sleepy Cotswold village – not unlike Sherborne, in fact – to rescue the family business. This failing enterprise is, of course, a bookshop. As she struggles to keep the shop afloat, Emilia gradually becomes acquainted with the customers whose love of books she is relying upon. Each has a story of his or her own. The author, Veronica Henry, has written episodes for The Archers, Holby City and Crossroads and has published fifteen novels. How to Find Love in a Bookshop was recently one of the Saturday Times Review’s top-ten fiction choices – and I am not surprised: she know all about plot, character and settings, weaving them together with humour and delicacy. Her prose trots along at an easy pace, with clues dropped here and there

but without giving the game away. Veronica Henry is very good at her art. My only issue was with the characters – and this is where I feel the genre is often let down from a man’s point of view. The standard portrayal of men in this kind of novel seems to be as selfobsessed, smooth-talking, money-worshipping, onedimensional sleazebags. Or as clandestine losers who end up bankrupting the family with stupid business deals or compulsive gambling. No wonder it puts us off. It is the women who have all the character subtlety, the complexities of personal history, the emotional turmoil and resilience – and Emilia is no exception. Having said that, the novel as a whole does not disappoint. The author is as much at home in musicology and gastronomy as she is in the world of books. She mixes her chronological and physical settings with consummate art. Finally, and best of all, the feelgood factor is tangible without being overdone. It is with pleasure that I can say we sceptics are stubborn cusses – but occasionally we enjoy being proved wrong.

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1. Froth of soap and water (4)

5. Soya bean curd (4)

2. Revoke (6)

8. Repository (5)

3. Complicated (9)

9. Protectors (7)

4. Racing vehicle (2-4)

10. Ear test (anag) (7)

6. Musical dramas (6)

12. Ask for; try to obtain (7)

7. Not proper (of behaviour) (8)

14. Fugitive (7)

11. Very virtuous (9)

16. Eg Paula Radcliffe (7)

12. Petty quarrel (8)

18. A rich mine; big prize (7)

13. From that place (6)

19. Maladroit (5)

14. Renounce (6)

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21. Accented (8)

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OUT AND ABOUT David Birley, Mayor of Sherborne


s a recent arrival in Sherborne and having never previously been involved in local government, I was surprised to be asked to stand for election to the town council. The main reason why I did it was to see if I could do something for our community. It was while on holiday two years ago that I thought we should do something to celebrate the Queen’s birthday. The idea received an enthusiastic reception from my fellow councillors and from the public. We were very fortunate to have a great team of helpers and I would particularly like to thank Millie from the Slipped Stitch and Ken and Taff from Abbey 104. Being the fundraiser for the event gave me the opportunity to visit the shops and offices in our town, all of which were supportive. In the end we raised enough money to give nearly £10,000 to local charities. On the day itself, we were exceptionally lucky to have sunshine after so much cold and rain. It was great to see the parade with so many groups reflecting our community and their interests. As one resident remarked, “It was a proper British day.” Of course, the fun continued with the Party in the Park. We had so many positive comments on social media and requests to do it again, that on 17th June we are holding the Sherborne Summer Festival. This year there will be no parade – we intend to keep that for special occasions – but we are moving it to Purlieu Meadow where it will last from 12pm to 10pm. There will be two stages, which will enable us to show

104 | Sherborne Times | March 2017

the varied talents of our community and schoolchildren while the bands are changing over. There will be more refreshment and food stands and other attractions, such as a display of medieval warfare and the opportunity to have a go with a longbow. We are planning to have a tug of war across the river and there will also be a bouncy castle, face painting and Artslink-sponsored events for the young. Entry will, again, be free. Another date for your diary is 17th April, Easter Bank Holiday Monday, when it will be Sheborne Easter Fun Day. This year it will be an Easter Egg Hunt in Pageant Gardens for seven-year-olds and under, starting at 3pm. In future years we plan to add other events and attractions. As part of the plan to involve our community in such events, the posters for shops will be designed by art students at The Gryphon School, while those for homes will be done by pupils from Sherborne and Abbey Primary Schools and our local nurseries. The thing I most enjoy about being mayor is that I get to meet people and visit places that I wouldn’t normally come across, as well as hear about the great voluntary work that is done in our town. I recently met with Ian Bartle, the head of Sherborne Primary School, who told me about their “acts of random kindness” scheme. This encourages pupils to do things like helping at home or “smile at someone who isn’t your friend”. Pupils from the school will be designing, tending and growing their own garden patch in Pageant Gardens. I look forward to seeing it.

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Sherborne Times March 2017  

Goldhill Organics, What's On, Shopping Guide, Wild Dorset, Family, Art, Film, Architecture, Interiors, Antiques, Gardening, Animal Care, Cyc...

Sherborne Times March 2017  

Goldhill Organics, What's On, Shopping Guide, Wild Dorset, Family, Art, Film, Architecture, Interiors, Antiques, Gardening, Animal Care, Cyc...